The following three easy geometry games for preschool and kindergarten are fun to play and use materials that are commonly available and/or 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, is a cooperative game that gives children practice in identifying and naming shapes.
Geometry Game #1 – Go, Go, Stop & Sort
A group game played on the floor.
Skills practiced – the students sort sets of objects based on one attribute (size, shape or color)
- Make three cards – one shows shapes, one shows colors, one shows sizes (see image above)
- A pile of one kind of objects to sort (buttons, pom poms, colored blocks, sets of plastic animals or a box of old keys..)
- An egg timer
- Teacher puts items to sort in the middle of the carpet
- Teacher puts the shuffled three cards on the carpet so the picture can’t be seen
- A student turns the egg timer over and then turns over the top card
- The student says, “Go, go, sort by (size, color, or shape, depending on card chosen)…”
- The same student watches the egg timer
- Other students choose blocks (or whatever objects are on carpet) and sort according to the card (teacher assists)
- When time is over, the student says “Go, go, Stop! (louder)”
- Children turn to a partner and take turns describing their sorting strategy
E.G. If the color card was turned over a student might say, I sorted all blue blocks and the other student, I sorted all red blocks. If the size card was turned over a child might say, I sorted all large buttons and another, I sorted all tiny buttons or I sorted all buttons that are this size (help provide vocabulary …medium-sized, small…)
Geometry Game #2 – Make a Shape Game!
This is a sit down at the table game.
Skills practice – children create representations of basic geometric shape pictures with modeling clay, scissors, and paper or felt markers
- Make a set of about 12 simple drawings, large enough for all kids to see them – a mountain, a tree, an ice cream cone, a building, a book, an apple, a wheel etc.
- Make another set of 3 cards (call these your “Make It With” cards)
- one with a picture of a felt marker,
- one with a picture of a blob of Plasticine™ or Playdoh™,
- one with a picture of a pair of scissors
- Ball of Plasticine™ or Playdoh™ for each child
- scissors and 4-inch paper for each child
- a felt markers and half sheets of newsprint for each child
- A child chooses one picture from the pile and shows it to the class, e.g. a pizza
- Teacher reads the word and the children discuss what basic shapes they see
- Teacher turns over a “Make it with…” card
- Teacher shows it to the students and reads it out loud, for example, “Make it with scissors and paper” (or whatever card is chosen)
- Children choose the correct materials and make a representation of the picture
- Teacher walks around students assisting where necessary and uses shape vocabulary
- A student picks the next picture and the procedure is repeated
Geometry Game #3 – Winning Shape Game
A cooperative game of chance played on the carpet.
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 the four blocks into
- Pocket chart with four columns and a second set of basic shape cards at the top of each column (see image)
- Star shapes (or a set of something similar)
- Divide kids into two groups… the “Bucket Kids” and the “Card Kids”
- One Bucket Kid takes a turns picking a shape out of the bucket, then tells the class what shape block he/she chose. “I chose a square shape.”
- Then the first Card Kid turns over one of the shape cards on the carpet
- Card kid says, ” I chose a triangle (or rectangle, square, or circle)
- If the card shape matches the block chosen (square card, cube block), the “Shape Wins”
- Children shout, Hooray, square shape wins! Keep the emphasis on the shape winning not the child
- Every time the card and shape match, a star gets put in the pocket chart under that shape
- Each time return the block and mix up the cards and try again
- When all children have had a turn choosing a card or a block the game is over
- Count stars under each shape and record the number at the bottom of each column
- The shape with the most stars is the winner!
Getting organized for games…
The geometry games above work well with 8 – 10 students and last about 10 – 15 minutes. Depending on your students, they may work as whole class games.
If you choose a smaller group, the other students can work independently at math tubs or with picture books, puzzles, and paper and felt markers at other tables.
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 is simple yet cooperative, the group wins
- the game reviews geometry and spatial skill concepts that have been taught
If you would like more ideas for these type of activities, check out my ebook, Challenging Children to Investigate with Everyday Things available on my store page.