Introducing 2D Shapes

Let's start by introducing your children to 4 simple shapes - the square, rectangle, triangle and circle.

Hands On Ideas

  • Wooden shapes. If you have some large wooden flat shapes - perhaps the kind that come in an old-fashioned wooden jigsaw - they are the perfect way to start talking about shapes with your children.
  • Printables. Print out some of our shape printables onto card and cut them out. Handle them, rearrange them, run fingers around their edges, count their sides etc, getting the kids thoroughly familiar with their shape and characteristics.
  • Which ones? Put a collection of shapes out randomly in front of your child and ask them to point to the triangles, remove the squares, turn over the triangles and so on.
  • Hunt for shapes. Look for pictures in a magazine or objects around the home that have distinct shapes. Be careful not to confuse flat shapes for solids at this stage.
  • Play snap challenge. At any point during the day, call out "Find me a circle!" or similar. Make sure there is one to be found first!
  • Tracing, cutting and sticking. Many of our fine motor control worksheets and printables are based on shapes. You can find a selection below.
  • More tracing. Trace around cardboard shapes, then colour in the results.

Taking It Further

  • Sorting. Assemble, cut out or print and cut out a collection of shapes in various colours and sizes. Ask the children to sort them - by shape, by colour, by size.
  • Vocabulary. Make sure that your children can describe the shapes they are working with. For example, "A square has 4 equal sides", or "A triangle has 3 sides."
  • Get creative. Make pictures using a variety of cut-out shapes.
  • Names. Learn to write the names of these four shapes with the help of our handwriting worksheets below.

Our 2D Shape Resources

2D Shape Word Mat First 4 Shapes

2D Shape Word Mat - First 4 Shapes

Here's a simple word mat showing a circle, triangle, square and rectangle. Laminate and use as a table mat at the family table, or as a word mat on the classroom table.

Circle Shape Playdough Mat

Circle Shape Playdough Mat

Practise making circles out of playdough! Just print the mat and laminate it if you want more than one use...

Colour the Shapes Worksheets

Colour the Shapes Worksheets

There are 2 worksheets in this set to choose from. The first guides the children in which colours to use. The second doesn't!

Colour the Shapes Worksheets 2

Colour the Shapes Worksheets 2

This set of 2 worksheets asks children to pick out the correct shapes from each row and colour them in. The first worksheet guides the children with a colour to choose; the second leaves them to choose for themselves.

First cutting shapes

First Cutting Shapes

This collection of first cutting shape printables provides cutting practice for circles, squares, rectangles and triangles. We have one page of each and then a mixed sheet, in both colour (as pictured below) or blank and white.

First Shapes Colouring Pages

First Shapes Colouring Pages

This collection of 4 colouring pages includes one based on circles, one based on squares, one based on rectangles and one based on triangles. Name the shapes as you colour...

Identify the Shapes Worksheets

Identify the Shapes Worksheets

There are 4 colourful worksheets in this set as well as 4 black and white versions. Each one asks the children to identify a particular shape and circle any they can find on the page.

Match the Shapes Worksheet

Match the Shapes Worksheet

We ask children to match the shapes on the left with the shape words on the right on this colourful worksheet.

Properties of Shapes Posters - First 4 Shapes

Properties of Shapes Posters - First 4 Shapes

These big, bright posters are perfect for display and provide a summary of the properties of each of the 4 shapes included. We have provided sets with different vocabulary so that you choose which you prefer.

Rectangle Shape Playdough Mat

Rectangle Shape Playdough Mat

It's fun to make shapes out of playdough, and it's a great way to help children remember their shapes, too. This playdough mat teaches the kids how to make a rectangle...

Shape Posters - First 4 Shapes

Shape Posters - First 4 Shapes

These lovely shape posters, featuring circle, square, triangle and rectangle, will brighten any wall! If you laminate them they would also make great table mats...

Shape Word Tracing

Shape Word Tracing - First 4 Shapes

Learn the spellings and practise writing the first 4 shapes we introduce to children - circle, square, rectangle and triangle, and trace the shapes too.

Square Shape Playdough Mat

Square Shape Playdough Mat

Can the kids use playdough to draw a square using the line as a guideline, and decorate it too? Once they've tried this, they should feel confident enough to make a square shape by themselves too...

Tracing Circles Worksheets

Tracing Circles Worksheets

There are three pages of circles to trace in this set - colour, grey outlines and dotted lines. Perhaps the children can cut out the circles, or colour them in, when done?

Tracing Large Shapes Worksheets

Tracing Large Shapes Worksheets

Here are 4 "starter" shapes to trace - circle, square, rectangle and triangle. Choose from 3 worksheets - coloured, grey border and dotted border.

Tracing Rectangles Worksheets

Tracing Rectangles Worksheets

We've got 3 worksheets in this set, all providing 4 rectangles to trace over. One provides coloured rectangles, one with grey borders, and one with dotted borders.

Tracing Shapes Worksheets

Tracing Shapes Worksheets

There are 12 separate worksheets in this pack, 3 each for the circle, square, rectangle and triangle. We've got coloured shapes, outline shapes and dotted shapes for you to choose from!

Tracing Small Shapes Worksheets

Tracing Small Shapes Worksheets

There are 3 worksheets in this pack to choose from - coloured, grey border or dotted border. Kids can get plenty of practice at drawing circles, squares, rectangles and triangles, and improve their pencil control and shape recognition too.

Tracing Squares Worksheets

Tracing Squares Worksheets

Trace our colourful squares - or our grey border squares - or our dotted squares! There are 3 worksheets in this set to choose from, and 4 squares to trace.

Tracing Triangles Worksheets

Tracing Triangles Worksheets

Choose from 3 worksheets in this set for the children to trace - a coloured page, a grey bordered page and a dotted border page.

Triangle Shape Playdough Mat

Triangle Shape Playdough Mat

Here's a fun way to learn about shapes! Cover the blue line with playdough to make a triangle shape, then use some more playdough to decorate it too! You can laminate the mat so you can use it again...

Useful Shapes - Circles

Useful Shapes - Circles

There are so many ways you can use this set of 10 circles - which comes in colour or black and white.

Useful Shapes - Rectangles

Useful Shapes - Rectangles

This set of 10 rectangles comes in different sizes so they can be used in lots of different ways! Colour and black and white available below.

Useful Shapes - Squares

Useful Shapes - Squares

Print out our useful squares - all 10 of them - in colour or black and white. There are so many ways you can use them!

Useful Shapes - Triangles

Useful Shapes - Triangles

Print out our 10 "stacking" triangles in colour or black and white and use them for all sorts of learning or craft activities.

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