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Find the Shapes

Read about helping young children learn more about math by finding and counting the geometric shapes around us.

Activity 23: Finding and counting shapes all around us



Try It Out:

  1. Help your child notice the shapes around him, starting with circles and squares. Say, “Look around the room. Can you find any shapes that are circles?” Help your child find shapes that are circles, such as plates or a clock.
  2. Talk about and count how many you found, such as, “We found 2 circles. Let’s count them: 1, 2.” Do the same for squares.
  3. Go to another room and say, “Do you see any shapes in this room?”
    • If your child points at shapes but doesn’t count them, count for him: “Yes, I see 1, 2, 3 squares.”
    • To encourage your child to label the shape, ask, “What is this shape called?”
  4. Once your child can recognize circles and squares, repeat the steps with triangles and rectangles.

Making the Most of This Activity:

Try it in different places—outdoors, at the grocery store, in the library, in your home, at the bus stop.


Could your child recognize and label circles and squares? If not, start just with circles and leave the other shapes for later.


American Institute for Research

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