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 small group game played on the floor (about ten kids).
Skills practiced – the students sort sets of objects based on one attribute (size, shape or color)
- Make three cards – one showing a shape, one a color, one a size (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 cards in a pile on the carpet so they 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)…”
- 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, helper says “Go, go, Stop! (louder)”
- All children take turns finishing the sentence… I sorted all ….
E.G. If the color card was turned over a students might say, I sorted all blue blocks and the next 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 table game.
Skills practice – children create representations of basic geometric shape pictures with modeling clay, scissors and paper or felt markers
- Draw a 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)
- Make another set of 3 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™
- 4 inch paper, felt markers and half sheets of newsprint on tables
- A 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
- Teacher shows it to the kids and reads it out loud, for example, Make it with 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 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 floor.
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 four columns with a shape card at the top of each column (see image)
- Stars (or 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 telling what he/she chose. “I chose a block shape or 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 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!
Getting organized for games…
The geometry games above 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 or with picture books, puzzles, and paper and felt markers at other tables. Depending on the students in your class, you may be able to do more than one group 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
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.