What's The Point
Hunting for hidden shapes is a good way for children to learn to recognize the characteristics, or attributes, that make each shape unique (e.g., squares have four sides, triangles have three sides, and circles are round).
Buddy’s Gem Hunt – Follow Buddy down into a cave in search of gems of different shapes. Then play a pattern recognition game with the gems you found.
This Activity Will Help Your Child
- Recognize shapes
- Sort by shape, size, and color
- Practice measurement vocabulary
- Colors and Shapes/Los colores y las figuras
by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza
- Mouse Shapes
by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Poster board or cardboard
Round bowl or glass
How Do I Do It?
- Cut out different kinds of shapes from poster board or cardboard. Shapes to include: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, pentagon, and hexagon. Use a ruler to draw straight sides. An easy way to draw a circle is to turn a round bowl or glass upside-down and draw around the rim.
- Hide the shapes in a room or in the backyard. Make them easy to find, because the challenge for your child will be to find the right shape by looking at its attributes.
- Tell your child that Buddy and his dinosaur friends are going on a shape scavenger hunt. “Do you want to join them?”
- Ask your child: “Can you find a round shape?”, “Can you find a shape with three sides?”, “Can you find a shape with six sides?”, etc.
- When your child finds a shape, a triangle for example, say “Great, you found a shape with three sides. What is that shape called?” If your child has difficulty naming the shape, say instead: “Great, you found a triangle. How many sides does a triangle have?”
- Once your child is comfortable with the game, tell him you want to join the shape hunt. Ask your child to hide a shape and describe it for you to find.
Take It Further
Help your child make a shape book with the shape cut-outs. Paste each shape on a separate piece of paper and write the shape's name at the top of the page. Ask your child to make a cover for the book by drawing different shapes on another piece of paper. Call it "My Shape Book" or include your child's name in the title (e.g., "Johnny's Shape Book"). Staple the pages together, or punch a hole in one corner and loop a piece of string or yarn through and then tie it.
Go on a shape hunt in your neighborhood or town. Ask your child to point out shapes he finds in buildings, road signs, and even in the patterns of floors and floor coverings.