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Circle, Circle, Square

Read about math activities for young children to make patterns with geometric figures using Circle, Circle, Square.

Activity 27: Making Patterns with Shapes


Small shapes cut out from paper: 8 circles, 8 squares, 8 triangles, and 8 rectangles, divided into 2 sets (each set with 4 of each shape)
*Tip: Cut shapes from a piece of paper folded in half twice to make 4 shapes at 1 time.

Try It Out:

  1. Give 1 set of shapes (4 of each shape) to your child and keep the other set for yourself. Say, “Let’s make a pattern with our shapes.”
  2. Create a simple pattern with your shapes while your child watches. Say, “Watch me. Circle-circle-square. Circle-circle-square.”
    • Ask your child to make a pattern that looks just like yours.
    • Ask your child to help you say the pattern. Point to each shape, in order, as you say the shapes together: circle-circle-square.
  3. If your child can make a pattern that matches yours, try it again with a more challenging pattern: circle-square-square-triangle.
  4. Let your child create his own shape pattern. Look at his pattern and name the shapes together.

Making the Most of This Activity:

Try making shape patterns outside on the sidewalk with chalk. Or use shapes cut out from bread and cheese during mealtime.


Was your child able to match your pattern? If not, he may not be quite ready for this activity. Try making simpler patterns, with only 2 shapes.

American Institute for Research

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