Prep: 10 Minutes / Activity Time: 5-10 Minutes

Recognizing similarities and differences is an important pre-reading skill. Playing games like Big and Small Shapes will help your child develop observation skills she will need in the future to distinguish between alphabet letters.

  • large piece of cardboard
  • scissors or cutter
  • box or basket


Step 1: Use scissors or a cutter to cut circles, triangles and squares out of the cardboard. Make one set of shapes approximately three inches tall (three circles, three triangles, three squares). Make another set approximately six inches tall (three of each shape).

Step 2: Place all the cut-out shapes in a box or basket.

Play the Game

Step 1: Sit with your child so you and she can see in the box or basket. Encourage your child to choose a shape from the basket. If your child chooses a big shape, use an animated BIG voice, spread your arms out wide and say, for example:

“Look Janis, you have a BIG circle! Can you say BIG in a great big voice, and spread your arms out wide?” 

If your child chooses a small shape, use an animated small voice and curl up as small as you can and say:

“Look Janis, you have a small triangle. Can you say small in a teeny tiny voice and curl up as small as you can get?”

Step 2: Repeat with the other shapes in the box. Try changing the tone of voice or the motion you demonstrate for BIG and small and have fun!