Home Activity

What's in the Bag?

What's The Point

The purpose of this activity is to help your child describe and name different shapes and their characteristics. These skills are the foundation for learning geometry, which is used in many career fields such as construction, architecture, and engineering.

This Activity Will Help Your Child

  • Identify and name shapes
  • Use words to describe an object
  • Use the sense of touch to get information

Book Suggestions

  • Circles, Triangles, and Squares
    by Tana Hoban
  • Mouse Shapes
    by Ellen Stoll Walsh


  • Cloth, paper, or other non-see-through bag
  • Everyday household objects of different shapes, as described below
  • Examples of circles – jar lid, milk jug caps, top of drink can, butter spread tubs, plastic plate
  • Examples of squares – drink coaster, square book, one side of a square gift box, block, dice
  • Examples of rectangles – rectangular book, ruler, one side of a pasta box, juice box, remote control

How Do I Do It?

Find a few household objects of different shapes. Let your child hold the objects and help him/her describe them. Now put the objects in a non-see-through bag (e.g., a lunch bag, laundry bag or grocery bag). Take turns reaching into the bag, choosing an object, and without looking at it, describing the object. How many sides does it have? How many corners? Is it curved? Try to guess the shape and what the object is.

Take It Further

Some shapes may be difficult to find around the house. You can also cut out cardboard shapes from an empty cereal box.