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Step on the Shape

Learn more about activities to help young children with math. Try the 'Recognizing Shapes' activity with your child.

Activity 10: Recognizing shapes


Large shapes cut out from paper: 3 circles and 3 squares, about 8 to 9 inches across (large enough for your child to stand on); masking tape or painter’s tape. Tape the shapes onto the floor about 2 feet apart.
*Tip: To make the circles, trace a large plate or bowl.

Try It Out:

Make a game of stepping onto the different shapes.

  • Ask your child: “Can you jump on a square?” “Can you run to a circle?”
  • Add different movements to make it fun: “Can you put your hands on a circle?”
  • Ask your child: “What shape should I stand on?” and see what she says. If she doesn’t answer, offer a choice: “Should I stand on a square or a circle?” If she still doesn’t respond, you can say: “I’ll jump onto a circle. Watch me go!”

Making the Most of This Activity:

Make it a little more challenging by asking: “Can you put your hands on a circle and your feet on a square?”


Was your child able to identify and move to the correct shape when you asked? If not, focus on playing with just the circles, and wait until later to play with squares again.


American Institute for Research


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