I am a big fan of learning centres in classrooms! They are a great place for children to explore, investigate, take risks and consolidate previous skills and concepts taught through open-ended activities.
Today I am sharing a learning centre based around the concept of 2-D shapes. Children sort and describe familiar 2-D shapes into groups and give reasons for the classification, such as how many sides or corners. The 2-D shapes learning centre also provides opportunities for children practice drawing 2-D shapes using dot-to-dot templates for scaffolding, playing games and reading books on shapes.
What you will need?
Creating a shape learning centre for children to explore, draw, sort, read and learn about 2-D shapes can included a range of different resources. There are no set items that you must include, and it is best to include learning materials that children are familiar with or have used or been exposed to before such as shapes book that they have had read to them.
Here are some ideas that you may like to include for your 2-D Shapes Learning Centres: books about shapes, tactile 2-D shapes such as pattern blocks, containers for sorting, white board markers, pencils and paper, stencils of shapes, labels and pictures of shapes. I have also included the Dot-to-Dot Shapes Printable for children to join the dots to draw the shape.
Pattern blocks are a great tool for learning about 2-D shapes. They are fun, colourful and tactile for the early years. Children can use different containers or bowls for sorting the blocks by their shape, number of sides and corners.
Some other ideas:
- Create pictures using the pattern blocks – children arrange them to create pictures such as a car or train and other pictures.
- Trace around the pattern blocks with a pencil to create more pictures.
- Trace around the different shapes to practice drawing each shape. Set task like trace around 3 triangles (3-sided shape) or 4 squares (4-sided shape).
- Search for shapes inside the books and draw on paper provided.
- Children can count how many triangles they have in the bowl. Which shape do you have most of?
Another activity to support and scaffold children’s learning around drawing shapes is the Printable Dot-to-Dot shapes template. Children carefully connect the numbered dots to create shape and practice drawing the shape in the space provided.
- Find and collect as many shapes as possible that match the printable.
- Ask questions such as how many sides does a triangle have? What other shape has 4 sides? What makes a square and rectangle different?
- Read stories about the shape that you are drawing and draw pictures of objects that are this shape, such as the door is a rectangle and the clock is a circle.
Creating hands-on learning centres to manipulate materials and resources not only provides children with the opportunity to learn about shapes but it also promotes opportunities for children to develop other important skills.
- Identify features of shapes such as number of sides or corners
- Creativity and imaginative play
- Fine Motor Development
- Hand-Eye Coordination and control
- Spatial awareness – experimenting and exploring with shape and space
- Language development – shape names and communication
- Classifying, matching and sorting
- Problem solving and self-correcting
- Shape recognition
Click here for more SHAPES activities & play ideas
Available in our online shop: