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

Can your child tell the difference between a geometric shape and a letter? Find out.

Your child will need to be able to successfully discriminate between different shapes and letters in order to eventually be able to read and write words. Continue to build on your child’s existing knowledge and provide him with varied opportunities to practice his emerging skills. This activity will help your child recognize and distinguish between shapes and letters.

  • shapes –circles, squares, triangles (store-bought or homemade from foam, plastic or cardboard)
  • alphabet letters (store-bought or homemade)
  • box or basket
  • 2 large paper plates
  • markers or crayons

Step 1: Select five to six letters and three to four shapes. You might start with the letters in your child’s name. Talk with your child about each shape and letter. Then place them all in a basket or box.

Step 2: Ask your child to find you a letter. If he picks out one of the letters, see if he can name it. If not, name it for him. If he takes out a shape, acknowledge his attempt, tell him what he chose and have him choose again. For example:

“Today, you are going to play a hunting game! We are going to hunt for letters in this box. Can you look in here and find me a letter?

Almost, you chose a shape. That is a triangle. Can you find a letter?  

Hooray, you found the letter /T/. Good letter hunting! Can you find another letter?”

Step 3: Continue until all the letters are found. Remember to keep it lively and fun. Avoid turning the game into a drill. Stop playing when your child loses interest.

Start with only shapes (circles, triangles, squares) in the box. Ask your child to find a shape for you. Have a visual to show your child an example of what you would like him to find in the box. Acknowledge his attempts.

Create “sorting plates”. Using a marker or crayons, write letters on one paper plate and draw shapes on the other. Ask your child to choose an item from the box and determine if the item is a shape or a letter. Encourage him to place the selected item on either the “letter plate” or the “shape plate”, as independently as possible.

Provide positive feedback and encouragement as your child sorts the shapes and letters.