Teachers! 10 Fun Learning Activities Using Paper Shapes [10 FREE Printables!]
Working with shapes is a fundamental skill for early learners, and there are many things you can do to teach elementary concepts in creative ways—from math basics to pattern play and art activities. However, it can be hard to think up enough activities to get maximum learning out of your paper shapes.
So, we’ve put together 10 fun classroom learning activities for you. Sign up and immediately download for FREE and print.
Here’s an overview of what you’ll get, and some creative ideas for how to use them:
MATH AND PATTERN PLAY ACTIVITIES:
For this activity, students complete the pattern by adding the appropriate shapes to the empty boxes to complete the pattern. To add a challenge to the activity, they can add color. Example: If a student glued two blue circles to the empty boxes in the first row, they could color the other circles blue to match, and pick a color for the triangles and color those to complete the pattern. As an alternative, kids can follow the guide and glue shapes to every box, for a fun punch-and-glue activity.
For this activity, we’re adding shapes together. Students start by looking at the “sum” at the end, grabbing those two shapes, and gluing one of each into the empty boxes. As a final step, they can color the “sum” shapes to match once they’ve chosen and glued the shapes into the boxes.
Big and Small
This is a very flexible project, where students can place large and small versions of shapes into four quadrants. You can apply one rule to all quadrants, like matching shapes with matching colors—or you challenge the students by changing the rules in each quadrant. Consider matching shapes in matching colors in the first, different shapes with the same color in the second, different shapes with different colors in the third, and same shapes with different colors in the last.
This math exercise is great for counting and organizing shapes and colors. The columns on the worksheet are separated by color, so that you can assign a certain kind of shape for the kids to count (ex: yellow circles), or you can allow any shape as long as it’s the right color. If you can’t print this sheet in color, you can call out the color for students to mark with crayon, or use thick colored markers to quickly add a streak of color to each column. Tip: Students can use these sheets over and over if they simply place the shapes rather than gluing them to the sheet.
This is a fun one. First, students can identify the shape they see in the image and draw a line to that shape, matching the image to the shape. The next step is to glue the appropriate shapes to the geometric shapes in the left column. As a final step, they can color the images in the right column.
For this activity, students attach a shape to the shape on the far left as a starting point. Then, they can practice drawing the shape by tracing the dotted lines. For the final activity, they can freehand draw half of each shape to complete it. This is a great activity to bring out every few weeks to measure progress.
Here are just a few ideas for getting started with using shapes to inspire creativity. Shapes form the base of most of the things we see in the world, so this idea can be used for lots of other themes and concepts.
There are three “cones” on the sheet. Students can glue three large triangles onto the sheet and then draw the ice cream, and color it in. They can also use other shapes to create the ice cream. Challenge: Can the students draw a scene around the ice cream they just created? Suggest sprinkles, a cherry on top, a melty drip, a puppy, or other elements that could inspire creative ideas.
The stems and leaves of the flowers can be colored in or covered in shapes. Then, students can use shapes to create beautiful, colorful flowers. Challenge: Can the students draw a scene around the flowers they just created? Suggest a butterfly, a bumble bee, a watering can, rain drops, or other elements that could inspire creative ideas.
Draw A Car (or Truck)
Students start by gluing two circles onto the sheet to serve as the wheels of the car and then draw in the rest of the vehicle or add other shapes to complete the image. The wheels can serve as a base for a truck, too—whatever inspires the kids is what’s important. Challenge: Can the students draw a scene around the car they just created? Suggest a street, houses or buildings, trucks, or other elements that could inspire creative ideas.
Draw A Cat
The triangle shapes on the sheet start as the nose and the ears of a cat. Students can use additional shapes for the eyes and mouth or draw the rest of the cat’s face to complete it. After the basic shapes have been added, suggest that the students draw fur, whiskers, maybe a mouse or a ball of yarn, and other elements to finish the project.
Sign up and immediately download for FREE and print.
Get the Shapes
For the Math and Pattern Play activities, we used shapes from our FreshCut Crafts Basic Shapes 1 shape pack. For the drawing activities, we used shapes from FreshCut Crafts Basic Shapes 1 and Basic Shapes 2 shape packs.