If you're looking for engaging and hands-on ways to teach shapes to your little ones, you've come to the right place! Whether you're a parent, babysitter, or caregiver these shape craft ideas are perfect for preschoolers, kindergartners, and even 1st-2nd grade students.

Start this how-to guide featuring 10 clever craft ideas that'll make learning shapes and colors exciting for your children now!

Why Teach Shapes and Colors Through Crafts?

picture of used crayola crayons standing upright on a blue table
Photo by Josh Eckstein / Unsplash

Shapes are the building blocks of objects and structures around us, and recognizing them helps children make sense of the world.

Colors, on the other hand, stimulate their visual senses and enable them to distinguish between different objects, enhancing their perception and communication skills.

Craft activities provide a fantastic opportunity for children to learn and reinforce their understanding of shapes and colors. By incorporating crafts into early childhood learning, kids can engage their senses, develop fine motor skills, and enhance their critical thinking abilities.

These activities make learning shapes and colors a fun and memorable experience!

Exploring a Variety of Shapes

little boy in green shirt smiling with a large red paper heart cut out on table
Photo by Anna Kolosyuk / Unsplash

Whether you're focusing on a specific shape or want to introduce multiple shapes, there's something here for everyone.

1. Circle Crafts

Collage: One fun activity is creating a collage using circular objects such as bottle caps, buttons, and stickers. Children can arrange and glue these items onto a paper, creating their own circular masterpiece. This activity not only helps them recognize circles but also enhances their fine motor skills.

Circular Stamping: Give kids circular-shaped objects such as jar lids, cotton rounds, or sponge circles. Dip these objects into paint and show them how to stamp circles onto paper. They can create patterns or designs by repeating the circular stamps in different colors.

Circular Weaving: Cut out a large circular shape from sturdy cardboard or a paper plate. Poke evenly-spaced holes around the edge of the circle. Provide colorful yarn or ribbon for children to weave through the holes, creating a circular weaving pattern. This craft not only reinforces the concept of circles but also enhances their fine motor skills.

woolen handcraft circle weaving art
Photo by Qinyi Lian / Unsplash

Paper Plate Tambourine: Provide children with paper plates and help them fold the plates in half. Have them decorate the outer rim with paint, markers, or stickers. Add small bells or buttons between the plates and staple them together. This craft creates a circular tambourine that children can shake and enjoy the rhythmic sound.

Circular Prints: Assist children in making circular prints using the bottom of a plastic cup or a round sponge. Dip the circular object into paint and show them how to press it onto paper, creating circular imprints. They can experiment with different colors and overlapping prints to make unique circular designs.

2. Square Crafts

colorful construction paper layered pile
Photo by Giorgio Trovato / Unsplash

Photo Frame: To teach squares, children can make a square-shaped photo frame using popsicle sticks. They can paint and decorate the frame with various colors to make it more appealing. This craft not only introduces them to squares but also encourages their creativity and color recognition.

READY 2 LEARN Stampers - Geometric Shapes Outlines - Set of 10

Square Stamp Art: Cut out square-shaped sponges or use square-shaped foam stamps. Dip them into paint and show children how to stamp squares onto paper. They can experiment with different colors and create patterns or designs using square stamps.

Colorations Washable Tempera Paints, 16 fl oz, Set of 11 Colors, Non Toxic, Vibrant, Bold, Kids Paint

Square Block Structures: Give children building blocks or cardboard cubes and guide them in constructing structures using square shapes. They can build towers, houses, or other imaginative creations by connecting the square blocks. This activity reinforces the concept of squares and enhances their spatial awareness and problem-solving skills.

Square Mosaic: Cut out small square pieces from colored construction paper or cardstock. Help children glue these squares onto a base, like a piece of cardboard or a canvas, to create a mosaic-style artwork. They can experiment with different color combinations and arrangements to form square patterns and designs.

This tutorial video shows how to make a sailboat mosaic for kids using construction paper cut into squares. You'll need multiple colors of paper, a ruler, pencil, scissors, and glue.

3. Triangle Crafts

DIY Kite Crafting: An excellent craft idea for triangles is making a triangle-shaped kite. Children can cut out a triangle shape from colored paper, attach a string to the top, and decorate it as they please. This activity not only teaches them about triangles but also allows them to explore colors and patterns.

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Geometric Triangle Art: Provide children with a canvas or sturdy paper and painter's tape. Assist them in creating geometric triangle patterns on the surface using the tape. They can then paint or color over the entire surface, including the taped areas. Once dry, remove the tape to reveal the clean triangle patterns. This activity combines art and geometry, allowing children to explore different color combinations and design possibilities.

Geoboard Triangles: Create geoboards by attaching pushpins onto a wooden board or corkboard in a grid pattern. Give your children yarn in different colors. Show your kids how to wrap the yarn around the pins to form different triangles on the geoboard. They can experiment with creating different sizes and types of triangles.

This easy DIY kite for kids tutorial takes just 5 minutes to watch (unless you like to speed them up like we do) and requires minimal materials. You'll need construction paper, a pencil, ruler, scissors, glue, some thin dowels or sticks to use for the support, a marker for decoration or other other materials like stickers and glue.

4. Rectangle Crafts

Build a Cityscape: Provide children with rectangular-shaped materials like cardboard pieces, construction paper, and craft sticks. Encourage them to create a cityscape by arranging and gluing these rectangles together to form buildings, streets, cars, and whatever their imagination thinks of. They can decorate the "buildings" with paint, markers, stickers, paper cut-outs, glitter, and more. This activity allows them to visually recognize and appreciate rectangles while fostering creativity and storytelling.

Example rectangle cityscape collage tutorial video:

Paper Chain Garland: Cut rectangular strips of colorful construction paper. Show children how to create a paper chain garland by linking the rectangles together, forming a chain. They can decorate the rectangles with drawings, stickers, or patterns. This craft helps them understand the concept of rectangles as they manipulate and connect the shapes as well as patterns if you use multiple colors.

Shape Pizza: Help children create a rectangular-shaped "shape pizza" using cardboard or felt. Cut out different rectangular shapes in various colors and sizes. They can arrange and glue these rectangles onto the pizza shape, creating a colorful and interactive learning tool. This activity combines shape recognition with imaginative play.

Chefan pizza toddler toy for learning shapes, colors, and counting fun
CHEFAN Pizza Toddler Toy

Robot build: Help your child build a robot using rectangular shapes. Provide different rectangular materials like boxes in different sizes, paper cut-outs, cardboard pieces, or fabric. Other materials can be added for decoration and personalization including coloring, painting, glitter, pom-poms or buttons, pipe cleaners, aluminum foil for a metalic look, etc. Give your child ideas and choices, but encourage them to pick in order to think out the process and really feel its' their own creation. This craft sparks imagination and promotes the recognition of rectangles.

Make a Pencil Holder: To teach rectangles, kids can create a rectangular-shaped pencil holder using cardboard and craft supplies. They can cut out a rectangle from the cardboard, fold it into a box shape, and decorate it with markers, stickers, or paints. This craft activity introduces them to rectangles while also promoting organizational skills.

Try this simple rectangle pencil holder craft with your kids today! You'll need two pieces of construction paper, plus another partial piece of paper or cardboard for the base, a pair of scissors, and some glue.

Kids Color Crafts

colorful wooden shapes in a bowl with tongs and other small colored bowls around it
Photo by Soraya Irving / Unsplash

Now, let's explore some craft ideas that focus on teaching colors to children.

5. Red Crafts

Finger Paint: To teach the color red, kids can engage in a finger painting activity using red paint. They can create their own artwork by dipping their fingers into the paint, stamps in different shapes, sponges, etc and making colorful imprints on paper. Finger paint might not be super original, but think of it as focusing just on the color red and using different materials to experiment with the red paint. This sensory activity not only introduces them to the color red but also allows them to express their creativity.

Red tulips in spring garden
Photo by Yoksel 🌿 Zok / Unsplash

Red Nature Prints: Take children on a nature walk and help them find objects with a reddish hue, like certain leaves, flowers, or berries. Bring these items back to the crafting area and show them how to make prints by gently pressing the objects onto paper. This activity allows children to explore the natural world while focusing on the color red.

This tutorial was designed for adults and is more complex than you'd likely intend for a project with your young kids, but it's an excellent example to see the possibilities and your child might enjoy watching it with you even:

Red Sensory Bottle: Help your child create a sensory bottle using a clear plastic bottle filled with red dyed liquid or red-colored objects. They can add red glitter, red beads, or red sequins to the bottle. Seal it tightly and let them shake and observe the captivating red patterns and movement inside. This sensory bottle is a great tool for helping kids relax, deal with anxiety, calm down, etc and is more than just a fun craft. It goes without saying that red is just the suggestion for this article, but you can use any color or colors that your child would like.

National Geographic Air Rocket Toy

Red Straw Rockets: Get your kids some red construction paper, tape, and straws. Help them create rocket shapes using the red paper and secure them with tape. Insert a straw at the bottom and have them blow into the straw to launch their red rockets into the air. This activity combines craft-making with an interactive and playful experience.

There's plenty of quick tutorials on straw rockets, but here's one by KiwiCo that we like:

6. Blue Crafts

Blue Collage Portraits: For teaching the color blue, children can make a blue-themed collage portrait using blue construction paper, tissue paper, and other blue materials. Encourage them to create self-portraits or portraits of others using only shades of blue. They can cut out shapes, glue them onto a poster board, and create a vibrant blue themed portrait artwork. This craft activity helps them associate the color blue with different objects and materials.

Artist titles this picture of a child's hands covered in blue paint "Here are the hands of my nephew Lucien. Ubud May 2018."
Photo by Bernard Hermant / Unsplash

Ocean Diorama: Make an ocean diorama using a shoebox or a similar container. Help your kids paint the inside of the box with shades of blue to represent the ocean or glue in blue paper. Provide blue construction paper, tissue paper, and various art materials for them to cut out and create ocean creatures, waves, or seashells. Feel free to give them real shells, sand, pebbles, mini ocean animal toys, etc. to really bring it to life! They can assemble and glue these elements inside the diorama, creating a miniature underwater scene and you can discuss the different colors, shapes, and sea creatures used.

Here's a good Aquarium diorama example tutorial by Craftwonders Liji:

Blue Bubble Wrap Printing: Cut out a sheet of bubble wrap and put out some washable blue paint. Help your kids dip the bubble wrap into the blue paint and press it onto their piece of paper. Show them how they can create unique textures and patterns reminiscent of water or bubbles. This activity allows children to explore the color blue through a tactile and creative experience beyond just coloring or singing.

7. Yellow Crafts

kids at craft table with various supplies out
Photo by Sigmund / Unsplash

Sunflower Collage: To teach the color yellow, kids can create a sunflower using yellow paper and craft sticks. They can cut out petals from the yellow paper and attach them to the craft sticks, forming a sunflower shape. This craft not only introduces them to the color yellow but also teaches them about flower structures.

little girl holding a sunflower and basket in a field wearing a straw hat
Photo by Kateryna Hliznitsova / Unsplash

Yellow Treasure Hunt: Set up a scavenger hunt where your kids can search for different yellow items around the house or outdoors. Provide them with a list of yellow items to find, like specific yellow toys (car, duck, lego, etc), yellow fruits, or yellow flowers. This activity encourages observation skills while emphasizing the color yellow.

Yellow Marble Painting: Place a piece of finger painting or other thick white art paper on the bottom of a shallow container or tray. Then poor in some washable yellow paint in the center. Show your kid how to roll the marbles through the paint, creating yellow patterns and designs on the paper underneath. They can tilt and maneuver the tray to guide the marbles and explore different movements to create unique yellow marble art.

Yellow Butterfly Mobile: Help children cut out yellow butterfly shapes from yellow construction paper or printed pictures of butterflies. Show them how to fold the butterflies in half to create a three-dimensional effect. Help attach the butterflies using fishing line or string to a wooden dowel or frame to create a yellow butterfly mobile. They can hang it in their room or a designated area, observing the yellow butterflies gently fluttering in the air. You don't have to focus on yellow, but could choose to cover the rainbow as well and teach "ROY G BIV" or sing the rainbow color song while it's twirling too.

yellow butterfly on purple flower
Photo by Alfred Schrock / Unsplash

8. Green Crafts

Naturally Green Collage: For teaching the color green, children can engage in a nature-inspired craft activity. They can collect leaves, grass, and other green materials from the outdoors and create a green collage on a piece of cardboard or paper. This activity allows them to explore nature, recognize different shades of green, and understand the importance of the color in our environment.

hand holding a fern branch
Photo by Ciocan Ciprian / Unsplash

Leaf Rubbings: Take your children on a nature walk and help them collect some green leaves. Provide them with paper and crayons. Show them how to place a leaf underneath the paper and gently rub the crayon over it to create a leaf rubbing. They can explore different leaf shapes and textures while observing the vibrant green color transferred onto the paper.

Here's a great 5 minute tutorial on leaf rubbing art by
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum that adds some washable water color paint to the mix for that extra layer of excitement for your kids:

Green Playdough Garden: Give your kids some green playdough and small toy figures or craft materials like fake flowers and insects. Encourage them to create a garden scene using the green playdough. They can mold leaves, stems, or grass using the playdough and add the toy figures or craft materials to complete their green playdough garden.

43 Pack Fake Plastic Bugs and Insects for Kids

Combining Shapes and Colors

To reinforce the learning of both shapes and colors, it's beneficial to combine them in various activities and games.

9. Shape and Color Sorting Games

Children can participate in shape and color sorting games where they match objects of specific shapes and colors. For example, they can sort colored blocks into corresponding shape holes or categorize colored objects based on their shapes. These games promote critical thinking, shape recognition, and color association.

Learning shape and color sorting games through crafts can be an engaging and hands-on way for kids to develop their cognitive and fine motor skills.

Shape sorting activities: Provide kids with a variety of craft materials, like cut-out shapes or small objects in different shapes (buttons for example). Encourage them to sort and categorize these items based on their shapes. For example, they can place all the circles in one group, squares in another, and so on.

Color sorting activities: Similar to shape sorting, introduce craft materials in different colors, like beads, buttons, or colored paper cut-outs. Encourage kids to sort these items based on their colors. They can create separate groups or containers for each color.

Montessori Style Wooden Sorting & Stacking Toy for Toddlers

Mixed sorting games: Introduce more complex sorting games that combine both shapes and colors. Provide a range of craft materials with different shapes and colors, and ask children to sort them simultaneously. They can sort objects into categories like red circles, blue squares, or yellow triangles. This activity encourages them to consider multiple attributes and reinforces their ability to classify and sort based on different criteria.

Craft-based memory games: Create a memory game using craft materials. Make pairs of shapes or colors on separate cards or pieces, and children have to find matching pairs by flipping them over. This game enhances their memory, concentration, and visual discrimination skills.

Check out this DIY Shape and Color Memory Game making activity by Magical World Of Craft for some inspiration:

Reinforce learning through discussion: Engage children in discussions about their sorting choices. Ask them to explain their reasoning or describe the attributes of each shape or color. This reinforces their understanding and encourages verbal communication skills.

10. Pattern Making

Kids can also engage in pattern-making activities using colored shapes. They can create patterns by arranging different shapes in a specific sequence and repeating the pattern. This activity enhances their understanding of shapes, colors, and patterns, stimulating their cognitive abilities.

Start with basic patterns: Introduce simple patterns like ABAB (e.g., red-blue-red-blue) or AABB (e.g., circle-circle-square-square). Explain that patterns are sequences of shapes or colors that repeat in a specific order.

We have some free pattern activities you can download here along with a ton of other free activity sheets for kids:

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Discover a treasure trove of free printable kids’ activity sheets at Persistent Parent! These fun educational worksheets are designed to entertain & enhance your child’s learning experience with pattern recognition, colors, matching, sight word practice, & more. Download them now!

Provide pattern templates: Give children pattern templates or grids where they can place different shapes or colors to create patterns. For example, provide a grid with alternating circles and squares, and encourage them to continue the pattern.

Fun Montessori style toy by 3 Bees & Me- Wooden Pattern Blocks - Tangram Shapes Puzzle Set with 155 Pieces

Shape and color manipulatives: Offer a variety of shape and color manipulatives, like cut-out shapes or colored objects, for kids to arrange and create patterns. They can use items like buttons, beads, or blocks to construct patterns of different shapes and colors.

Extend the complexity: As children grasp the concept of simple patterns, gradually introduce more complex patterns like ABCABC or AABBCC. Use a combination of shapes and colors to make the patterns more challenging and engaging.

Encourage creativity: Provide opportunities for children to create their own unique patterns using shapes and colors. Encourage them to experiment, take risks, and think outside the box. This fosters their creativity and problem-solving skills.

Learning Resources Plastic Pattern Blocks Set with 250 Pieces

Through these activities, children can develop an understanding of patterns, sequence, and order. Pattern making with shape and color crafts enhances their critical thinking, logical reasoning, and cognitive skills. It also encourages their creativity and self-expression as they explore different combinations and variations in their patterns.

Let the Crafting Begin!

Teaching kids shapes and colors through craft activities is a fun and effective way to promote their learning and development. By incorporating hands-on experiences, children can explore the world of shapes and colors, improving their cognitive, motor, and creative skills. Craft activities make learning interactive, engaging, and memorable, fostering a love for learning in young minds.

We hope you've been inspired by this fun collection of shape and color crafts and activities for kids!

Remember, the journey of learning is not only about recognizing shapes and colors around us but also about fostering creativity, critical thinking, and a love for learning. So gather your crafting supplies, embrace the joy of hands-on exploration, and embark on this exciting educational adventure with your little ones.

Happy crafting!

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How do I teach my child shapes and colors?

Here's some basic steps to teach your child shapes and colors:

  1. Start with basic shapes and primary colors using visual aids.
  2. Point out shapes and colors in everyday objects.
  3. Engage in hands-on activities and play interactive games.
  4. Sing songs and rhymes related to shapes and colors.
  5. Encourage art projects incorporating shapes and colors.
  6. Read books about shapes and colors and discuss illustrations.
  7. Practice through daily interactions and conversations.
  8. Be patient, repeat activities, and provide positive reinforcement.
  9. Make learning enjoyable and age-appropriate.
  10. Celebrate your child's achievements in recognizing shapes and colors.

What is the best strategy to support children in learning about shapes?

To support children in learning about shapes, employ these effective strategies:

  1. Start with basic shapes like circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles.
  2. Use visual aids such as flashcards and posters to reinforce shape recognition.
  3. Engage in shape hunts to develop observational skills and identify shapes in the environment.
  4. Encourage sensory play with playdough or tracing shapes in sand or salt trays.
  5. Utilize hands-on activities like building with blocks and shape puzzles.
  6. Play shape-related games for an enjoyable learning experience.
  7. Integrate shapes into daily routines, like cooking or storytime discussions.
  8. Provide positive feedback and constructive reinforcement to your child.
  9. Repeat and reinforce previously learned shapes while introducing new ones.
  10. Encourage creativity by incorporating shapes into children's artwork.

What are some arts and crafts ideas for kids?

  1. Paper Collage: Cut out shapes and images from colored paper and magazines to create unique collages.
  2. Popsicle Stick Creations: Build structures like houses or picture frames using popsicle sticks and glue.
  3. Nature Crafts: Use leaves, flowers, and twigs to make leaf rubbings or create nature-inspired artwork.
  4. Salt Dough Sculptures: Mold and shape salt dough into sculptures, then paint and decorate them.
  5. Handprint Art: Trace and cut out handprints, then decorate them with paints or markers.
  6. DIY Wind Chimes: Collect small objects like seashells, beads, or bells, and attach them to a string or ribbon. Kids can create their own unique wind chimes by hanging these objects from a recycled container or a wooden stick.
  7. Recycled Crafts: Encourage children to repurpose materials like cardboard tubes, egg cartons, or cereal boxes to create imaginative crafts. They can build robots, make masks, or design unique sculptures.

How do you introduce shapes to kids?

Introducing shapes to kids can be a fun and interactive process. Here's a step-by-step approach:

Start with basic shapes: Begin by teaching simple shapes like circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles. Show them examples of each shape, such as objects or pictures.

Make it visual: Use visual aids like flashcards, posters, or books that highlight different shapes. Display colorful and appealing images to capture their attention.

Explore the environment: Encourage kids to observe their surroundings and point out shapes they see in everyday objects. Look for shapes in their toys, household items, or outdoor environments.

Hands-on activities: Engage children in hands-on activities where they can touch and manipulate shapes. Provide shape sorting toys or puzzles for them to match and fit shapes together.

Art and crafts: Incorporate shapes into art and craft projects. Have them draw or cut out shapes from paper to create collages or crafts. Use shape stencils or templates to assist them in tracing and recognizing shapes.

Play shape games: Make learning shapes interactive with games like "Simon Says" using shape commands or "I Spy" where they identify shapes in their surroundings.

Sing and dance: Introduce shape-related songs or rhymes that emphasize shapes. Encourage kids to move their bodies and imitate shapes with their arms or legs.

Reinforce through repetition: Practice identifying shapes regularly to reinforce learning. Incorporate shape discussions during everyday activities and ask kids to name shapes they encounter.

Real-world connections: Help children connect shapes to real-world examples. For instance, relate a round pizza to a circle shape or a square window to a square shape.

Celebrate achievements: Praise and celebrate kids' efforts when they correctly identify shapes. Positive reinforcement encourages their engagement and boosts their confidence.

Remember to keep the activities age-appropriate and adapt them to each child's learning style. By using a combination of visual aids, hands-on experiences, games, and real-life connections, you can effectively introduce shapes to kids in an engaging and memorable way.