Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Graphing Shapes

This is so simple and a huge hit with 3,4, and 5 year olds!! 

Materials needed- masking tape, household items shaped like a triangle, rectangle, square, and circle, paper and markers.

First make a circle, square, rectangle, and triangle sign ( I used 1 sheet of paper for each sign)
Gather household items shaped like a circle, triangle, square, and rectangle.

Place the masking tape on the floor in a graph like this:


I had Mallory pick out an item and then place it under the correct shape. 



She absolutely loved it!



The finished product!


After we were finished I had Mallory count each column and then I wrote the amount down on paper and placed it under the corresponding shape. We talked about which column had the MOST and which had the LEAST and the SAME.

In addition to shape identification this helps children count with understanding, make comparison of quantities, use comparitive words and it's a fun and easy way to introduce graphing!


  1. Super cute idea, Tricia! What a simple activity with so many aspects. Looking forward to what you'll be sharing with us!

  2. This looks great! I love your photos too. Happy start. So excited to add you to my RSS.

  3. You need to separate 2d and 3d shapes. The zebra in the cube is not a square... the side is a square. This type of sorting incorrectly is why students learn shapes wrong and it is difficult to unteach incorrect info!

  4. Instructionally, there is no reason one cannot use a cube to teach the shape of the square to a three-year-old. Being able to see shapes in real-world items is an important skill to learn. Additionally, distinguishing between a 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shape (square/cube) comes later, developmentally speaking. Don't worry, the child will not have a problem with square vs cube in kinder and first grade. In all my years as a teacher and instructional coach I have never seen a "student(s) learn shapes wrong."

  5. I agree with anonymous, we can teach 2d and 3d shapes later on in another lesson! It's the idea that a square has four sides to it, and if the zebra cube doesn't belong, then many of the other items doing belong as well. What about the parallelograms the cylinders and the pyramids?


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