Geometry games for kids
Easy geometry games for preschool and kindergarten...
The following three geometry games for kids are easy to play and use materials that are commonly available and simple to make.
"Go, Go, Stop and Sort", requires children to sort sets of objects based on one attribute.
"Make a Shape" has children create representations of basic geometric shape pictures with modeling clay, scissors and paper or felt markers.
The "Winning Shape Game" is a cooperative game that gives children practice in identifying and naming shapes.
Geometry game for kids #1 - Go, Go, Stop & Sort....
A carpet game
Skills practiced: the students sort sets of objects based on one attribute (size, shape or color)
- 3 Cards - one showing a shape, one a color, one a size
- Objects to sort (buttons, pom poms, colored blocks, sets of plastic animals, box of old keys..)
- An egg timer
- Teacher puts items to sort in the middle of the carpet
- Special helper turns egg timer over and turns over the first card
- The student says, "Go, go, sort by (size, color, or shape, depending on card chosen)..."
- Same student watches the egg timer
- Other students choose blocks (or other objects on carpet) and sort according to the card (teacher assists)
- When time is over helper says "Go, go, sort, then says Stop! (louder)"
- All children take turns finishing the sentence... I sorted all ....
E.G. If the color card was turned over students would say, I sorted all blue blocks, the next student, I sorted all red blocks. If the size card was turned over the children would say, I sorted all large buttons, I sorted all tiny buttons, I sorted all buttons that are this size (help provide vocabulary ...medium sized, small...)
Geometry game for kids #2 - Make a Shape Game!
A table game
Skills practice: children create representations of basic geometric shape pictures with modeling clay, scissors and paper or felt markers
- Set of simple drawings - a mountain, a tree, a book, a wheel etc. (many memory type games have simple illustrations, photocopy them bigger so all can see)
3 other cards, one with a picture of a felt marker, one with a picture of a blob of Plasticine™, one with a picture of a pair of scissors (call these your "Make It With" cards"
- Balls of Plasticine™, scissors and 4 inch paper, felt markers and half sheets of newsprint on tables
- Child chooses one picture card from the pile and shows it to the class, teacher reads the word and the children discuss what basic shapes they see
- Teacher turns over one "Make it with..." card, reads out, make it with...., shows the card to the students who complete the sentence... scissors and paper (or whatever card is chosen)
- Children choose the correct material and make a representation of the picture
- Teacher walks around students and admires all creations (assists where necessary) and using shape vocabulary
- A student picks the next picture and the procedure is repeated
Geometry game for kids #3 - Winning Shape Game - (a cooperative game of chance)
Skills practice: Identifying and naming shapes
- Four blocks representing one of each basic shape
- Four cards representing one of each basic shape
- Bucket or container to put blocks in
- Pocket chart with 4 columns with a shape card at the top of each column
- Stars (or something similar)
- Divide kids into two groups... the "Bucket Kids" and the "Card Kids"
- One Bucket Kids takes a turns picking a shape out of the bucket, then telling what he/she chose. "I chose a block shape, a cube shape, a pyramid shape, a round shape (help them with the correct vocabulary)..."
- Then the first Card Kid shuffles the shape cards on the carpet and turns one over
- Card kid says, " I chose a triangle (or rectangle, square, or circle)
- If the card shape matches the block chosen (circle card, ball block), the "Shape Wins"
- Children shout, Hooray, circle shape wins! Keep the emphasis on the shape winning not the child
- Every time the card and shape match a winning star gets put in the pocket chart under that shape
- Return all blocks and cards and try again until all children have had a turn choosing a card or a block
- Count stars under each shape and record the number at the bottom of each column
- The shape with the most stars is the winner!
Organize for games...
These geometry games for kids work well with 8- 10 students (depending on your class size) and last about 10 - 15 minutes.
Other students can work independently at math tubs such as matching numbers and dots or arranging pattern blocks on laminated animal shape cards. Also put picture books, puzzles, and paper and felt markers at two other tables for children whose attention spans are shorter. Train the children to work quietly when it is not their turn for games.
Depending on the students in your class, you may switch groups on the same day or may have to wait until the following day.
Geometry games for kids of preschool and kindergarten ages work well if they have the following criteria:
- game materials are easy to make or find
- the game includes some sort of movement
- the game is simple yet cooperative, the group wins
- the game reviews geometry and spatial skill concepts that have been taught
Children are curious
Brain research emphasizes the importance of curiosity in brain development.
Presenting math to kids in a manner that causes them to investigate mathematical concepts and test their results will not only keep their attention, it will motivate them to inquire further. Playing with Shapes provides activities that encourage such investigations.