From an early age, kids notice different shapes even if they don’t yet know that the shapes have names. It takes longer for young children to learn the specific properties of each shape, such as the number of sides or how the shape looks. Giving preschoolers lots of practice with shapes helps them solidify their understanding of the two-dimensional structures. That knowledge of shapes gives the young children an advantage in many areas of learning.
- Literacy: A preschooler who is able to distinguish between shapes is better equipped to notice the differences in shapes of letters. This helps not only with reading but also with writing. Kids who have practice with different types of shapes and lines can translate those into writing
- Math: A strong understanding of shapes can help preschoolers better recognize the numbers and how they look. Number recognition is an early math skill preschoolers need before they can move on to more advanced math skills, such as addition. The shapes themselves fall under the geometry standards of math.
- Categorizing and Comparisons: Learning the differences in shapes requires preschoolers to focus on the specific characteristics. Preschoolers learn to use observational skills to identify the different shapes. They also learn how to compare different shapes and group similar shapes together. Those observational skills transfer to other areas. Observation and categorization are key skills in science.
- Problem Solving: Shape activities can help preschoolers develop problem-solving skills. Shape sorting toys are one example. When a child recognizes the characteristics of a square, he can match it with the square hole on the toy. Shape recognition can also help when putting together puzzles. If he pays attention to the shapes of the pieces and the shapes of the openings in the puzzle, he can determine the correct spot for each piece.