Children need lots of exposure to basic shapes prior to learning about alphabet letters. One way that young children learn about shapes is by comparing their similarities and matching similar shapes.
- large round bowl
- items that are round (e.g., jar lids, round toys and cylinder blocks, paper plates, old CDs, circular rocks)
- items that are not round (e.g., blocks, sticks, small boxes, toys)
Step 1: Show your child the round bowl or container; talk about the shape of the bowl as you circle the edge of the bowl with your finger. Ask your child to circle the edge of the bowl with her finger and say “The bowl is round, like a circle.”
Step 2: Hand your toddler one of the round items. You might say, “Is this a circle? Is it round? Yes, it is. Let’s put it in the round bowl.” Help your child put it in the bowl. Continue with three to four round items.
Step 3: Hand your toddler one of the items that is not round. Ask, “Is this a circle? Is it round? No, it is not round. It does not go in the round bowl.”
Step 4: Praise all attempts your child makes at sorting the items.