Tuesday, 19 May 2015

EYFS themed activity ideas - Shapes

This list looks at different activities you could do with your children. There are thousands of other ideas on my 'shapes theme’ pinterest board, so please pop along and follow me. :)

All of the 'Shapes' activities have been grouped into the EYFS areas of learning that I feel they best fit into, but feel free to rearrange them to suit your planning.

Personal, social and emotional:

·        Cut food into shapes for snack and lunch.
·        Shape games with friends.
·        Shape placemats.
·        Shape name cards. – find friends who have the same shape.
·        Shape feeling faces.

Communication and language:

·        Make shape biscuits. Discuss what you are doing. Read out the recipe, name all the utensils and equipment used.
·        Encourage children to discuss which their favourite shape is, compare their answers with their friend choices.
·        Take it in turns to describe a shape to the group. Can the other children guess what shape they are describing?
·        Shape songs – there are lots of cute catchy shape songs on YouTube.
·        Taking it in turns to talk about our weekend, special news at circle time. Children learn that they can only speak when they are holding the shape of the day.
·        Sit on a shape to listen to story. Focusing on sitting still and listening.
·        Shape stories.
·        Create your own shape characters action cards. (A square character ‘riding’ a bike, a triangle character ‘dancing’)
·        Look at simple concepts. Can the children find big and little shapes? Can they find the shape which is different from a line-up of shapes?
·        Look at prepositions using shapes.. Can they put the plastic triangle behind the box, can they put the square under the table etc…


·        Look at shape books with the children.
·        Can you make up simple rhyme words to go with shape names?
·        Look at the names of different shapes. Can the children recognise any of the letters? Look at the letters which appear in the child’s name.
·        Can they hear and say the initial letter of the shape name.
·        Can they draw a picture of their favourite shape?
·        Can they write some of the letters from the shape words?


·        Use different containers to make shapes in the sand.
·        Shape jigsaws.
·        Make a shape pizza.
·        Sort shapes, can the children put all the circles etc together.
·        Use shape play dough mats which encourage children to mould the play dough into different shapes.
·        Make a large shape dice. Children have to find whichever shape they roll.
·        Feed the shape monster. Make a cardboard box ‘shape monster.’ Children have to feed the monster which ever shape he asks for.
·        Look at different sizes of shapes. Can the children categorise the shapes by shape and size?
·        Count how many sides a shape has.
·        Have a large selection of plastic shapes in a bowl, can the children pass you ‘one shape’ or ‘two shapes’ etc..
·        Share out some shapes between friends can they say who has more or less?
·        Have large shapes with numbers on. Children have to put that many small shapes inside the corresponding large shapes.
·        Have a shape number line.
·        Can children do 3 hops on the large square? Can they do 4 jumps on the triangle? Etc..
·        Can children copy a pattern using different shapes? Can they make up their own pattern?
·        Make pictures with small plastic shapes.
·        How many shapes can they fit in a certain area?
·        Talk about their favourite shape, making a fun colourful graph to show how many children liked each shape.
·        Begin to look at 3d shapes, introduce children to the correct name.
·        Make 3d shapes with play dough, clay or paper mache.
·        Make 3d shapes with mini marshmallows and cocktail sticks.
·        Play ‘find the shape.’ The adult shouts out a shape name and the children have to find that shape and bring it back to the adult. You could give out rewards to the winners.


·        Thread shapes to make a necklace or a snake.
·        Make shapes with stones in the garden.
·        Shape hopscotch.
·        Play ‘run to the shape.’ Draw large shapes on the floor. Adult has to shout out the name of a shape and children have to run to the shape.
·        Shape stampers.
·        Make shapes with craft sticks.
·        Printing shapes into play dough.
·        Draw around shapes.
·        Children have to think of different ways of moving from one shape to another, such as slithering, rolling, crawling etc…
·        Cut around simple shapes.
·        Jump from shape to shape to avoid being eaten by the crocodile.
·        Make shapes with play dough.
·        Cut healthy snacks up into different shapes.

Understanding the world:

·        Make everyday pictures from shapes – A house, rocket etc.
·        Go on a shape scavenger hunt.
·        Make different shapes using play dough.
·        Put up shape posters around the room.
·        Make some shape biscuits.
·        Make 3D shape structures with mini marshmallows and toothpicks.
·        Hide small plastic shapes in the sand, salt, gloop etc.
·        Play shape memory games.
·        Make shape fruit kebabs
·        Set up a shape sorting table for children to use during free play.
·        Find different shapes in the environment.
·        Look at the importance of some shapes… why is a wheel is a circle, why isn’t it a square? Why is a house a cube? Why can’t it be a circle?
·        Play simple shape games on a computer or tablet.

Expressive arts and design:

·        Make a caterpillar out of shapes.
·        Colour shapes in different colours to make a picture.
·        Contact paper shape art – sellotape contact paper to the table (sticky side up) Give the children a selection of paper shapes. They can then decorate their picture, taking shapes on and off as they please.
·        Printing with shapes.
·        Painting with shapes.
·        Make some shape animals.
·        Create some shape finger puppets.
·        Play musical shapes.. When the music stops children have to sit on a shape.
·        Junk modelling. Talk about what they are making and the shape of the boxes they are using.
·        Play with different textured shapes.
·        Make up songs and rhymes about different shapes.

You can find more EYFS themed activity ideas here

If you are after fun educational printable resources for preschoolers, then look no further. Here at Mummy G I have a huge selection of topic themed preschool resources packs. Click here to find more information..


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