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Shape Hunt

Read more about activities that help young children with naming shapes and making patterns like Shape Hunt.

Activity 14: Naming shapes and making patterns


5 circles and 5 squares cut out from paper, or shapes you already have from past activities, and a small plastic bowl or basket

Try It Out:

  1. Hide the shapes around the room. Make sure that the shapes are at least partly visible to your child from their “hiding places.”
  2. Give your child the bowl or basket and say, “We are going to hunt for shapes!”
    • If your child gets close to a shape, but doesn’t see it, you can say, “You’re getting closer! I see a circle!”
    • As your child finds each shape, ask her to name it: “What did you find?” Then say, “That’s right. You found a square!”
  3. Once your child has found all or most of the shapes, ask her to hand them to you, 1 by 1, in an alternating pattern.
    • Say, “Can you give me a circle? Now a square; now a circle.” Put them in a line on the table or on the floor. Keep alternating until you’ve used all the shapes.
    • When you are done say, “Now, let’s look at the pattern we made.” Point to each shape as you say the names of the shapes together: “Circle, square, circle, square.” Then ask your child if she would like to say the pattern to you.

Making the Most of This Activity:

  1. Once your child can do this activity with circles and squares, add triangles and rectangles to the shape hunt and pattern activity.
  2. Try the activity with clothes (sock and shirts) or toys (cars and blocks).


Did your child find the shapes and hand you the correct ones when asked? If not, your child might not be ready for this activity. Try it using only circles and then add squares later.


American Institute for Research

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