Do you want to teach your toddler shapes but don’t know where to start? If so, you’re in the right place.
As a first time parent, it can be hard to tell when a child should know their shapes or how to help them. Trying to teach an early learning concept when they’re not ready only leads to frustration.
But don’t worry, because this blog post is here to help you teach your toddler shapes. You’ll find out answers to questions like when should a child know their shapes? Which ones to start with. And how to teach this concept with fun learning shapes activities.
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Why Are Shapes Important to Learn?
Shapes are all around us. So recognising and learning the names will help your toddler to:
- Communicate better and describe the world around them
- Enhance creative skills
- Learn numbers and letters
When you teach a toddler shapes, it helps them to describe the world around them. If someone asked you to make a cake, it would be hard to know where to begin. But you’d have a much better understanding if they described how they wanted it to look. Eg, small and rectangular with curved edges.
Enhances Their Creative Skills
Basic shapes are at the heart of most drawings. So being able to name and recognise them will help your toddler to learn to draw.
Learning Numbers and Letters Will Be Easier Once You Teach Your Toddler Shapes
Shapes make up letters and numbers. So recognising their shapes will help them notice the difference between an o and a h for example.
When Should a Child Know Their Shapes?
It’s thought that little ones are developmentally ready to learn the concept of shapes from 2 years old. So start to teach your toddler shapes around this age. (or earlier if you think they’re ready.)
You should then expect them to be able to recognise and name basic geometric shapes by the age of 3 years old.
What Shapes Should My Toddler Know?
Here’s a list of basic geometric shapes your child should know at 3 years old.
Which Shapes Should I Teach First?
Start with more common 2d shapes, when you’re first teaching your toddler this concept. Like a circle, triangle, rectangle and square.
They’ll see these shapes throughout the day. So they’ll be more opportunities for you to point them out and help them recognise them.
Once they know common 2d shape names, move onto more difficult shapes. These are shapes that they’ll see less often like a star, heart, diamond and oval.
This list is just to give you an idea. You may find that your child learns some shapes before others. Especially if they see them more often.
For example, my toddler can recognise and name a star because he sees them all the time. He has them on his ceiling. On different toys. And I have them on my Pajamas. He doesn’t know other shapes yet though!
How Do I Introduce My Toddler to Shapes?
Introduce your toddler to shapes by pointing them out in everyday life. Start with one shape at a time, until they’ve learnt it. For example, when out for a walk, point out wheels on cars and circles on road signs etc.
Common Difficulties When You Start To Teach Your Toddler Shapes
You may find that your toddler is able to say the shape name for one particular object. But they won’t recognise the same shape in other objects.
So make sure you give them lots of chances to learn shape names in different ways.
Learning Shapes Activities You Can Do At Home
Set up learning shapes activities and games to keep your little one interested.
Read books about shapes. Interactive books will keep them hooked until the very end!
Sing songs to help them remember shape names and improve their communication skills at the same time.
Give them geometric shaped toys to play with, like wooden blocks and shape sorters.
Play fun games using basic shape flashcards. Try hiding the cards around the house for your toddler to find. Or hide them under a blanket and have them crawl under to get the shape you’ve told them to.
Download and print our free shape colouring pages. And give your toddler paint, bingo daubers and/or crayons to decorate them with.
Lots of practise is needed when teaching shapes to toddlers.
Start with one common shape at a time, until they can recognise it. Then move onto the next one.
Look out for natural opportunities to teach your toddler shapes. Like when you’re out for a walk. Or preparing vegetables for dinner.
These moments are more meaningful. So they’ll remember them quicker.