I created this 2D shapes game for kids to use all year long at the math center in kindergarten. Since we know kids learn best with hands-on fun, this fun shape activity fits the bill. Students will learn 2D Shapes through a fast-paced, fun game! The 2D Shape Slap-It! Card Game Math Center game reinforces student knowledge of 2-dimensional shapes through representations, “real life” pictures, number of sides, regular polygon definitions and names. What an awesome way to learn about shapes!

2D Shapes Slap It Card Game

Recommended Grade Level:

2D Shapes Slap It Card Game Supplies:

  • Printer/Ink
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Paper Cutter

Learning 2D Shapes in Kindergarten



Shape games for kindergarten engage kids in a way that makes important learning feel like just a game to kids! Learning shapes is an important foundational skill. It helps with math vocabulary as well as categorizing/sorting/discerning skills.

This is a modified form of the old favorite “Slap Jack.” The difference is that there is a center pile in addition to the player piles. The card turned over in the center pile indicates what card you are looking to slap. Once you slap the coordinating card, you turn a new card and begin to search for a new card to slap.

You can choose any format of cards to be the CENTER pile, so that kids can get review on the portion that they struggle with the most. They can focus on formats that they are more familiar using.

It is easily adaptable for Pre-K through 6th due to the inclusion of simple shapes such as: “heart” and circle, along with more complex shapes such as “scalene triangle” and “dodecagon.”

In addition to learning about 2D shapes, this kindergarten math center idea can expand knowledge and vocabulary about shape characteristics. Pose additional questions as you play:

  • What kids of lines does this shape have?
  • What does the caterpillar need inside the chrysalis?
  • What is it called when an animal/insect changes throughout its development?
  • Will the butterfly grow more when it comes out of the chrysalis?
Learning 2D Shapes is a blast with this 2D Shape Slap It! Card Game! Similar to Slap Jack it's a super fun way to learn!

What Can Kindergarteners Learn From 2D Shape Activities?



I have included two word cards for oval/ellipse and diamond/rhombus. Use whichever word you wish.

There are seven triangles included, six specifically labeled ones and one general for lower levels. The definition cards assume the attributes of a regular polygon.

“Real life” pictures are not included for all shapes. They are included based on availability. Here are some important vocabulary words to use while playing:

  • Straight sides
  • Curved sides
  • Same/Different
  • Vertices (corners)
  • Edge
Learning 2D Shapes is a blast with this 2D Shape Slap It! Card Game! Similar to Slap Jack it's a super fun way to learn!

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn 2D Shapes?

Math center ideas for kindergarten should include a variety of math topics, from shapes to numbers to graphing. Learning about shapes provides a solid math foundation to build upon for geometry.

Background Knowledge: Shapes are all around us. It makes sense to give attention and names to shapes in the world. It provides kids with a solid amount of background knowledge to apply to other subjects and life in general.

Observation Skills: Recognizing shapes requires kids to use their observation skills. Visual acuity is important with reading, too. So learning shapes ultimately helps with learning letters.

Fine Motor Skills: Shapes games and activities at center time often promote grasping blocks, tracing or drawing shapes, or creating a shape collage with scissors and glue. All of those activities strengthen fine motor muscles.

Sorting and Classifying: Often a child’s early experiences discerning between shapes is a great lesson in sorting and classifying. Learning 2D and 3D shapes gives valuable practice with identifying differences and similarities and placing things in different categories.

How to Make the 2D Shapes Slap It! Card Game

To Prep:

Print, laminate and cut all of the cards.

Create your deck of 10-20 cards for CENTER pile.

Use the other corresponding cards for PLAYING cards. 30-40 cards are recommended for a group of 2 players. (More copies will create a longer game)

Learning 2D Shapes is a blast with this 2D Shape Slap It! Card Game! Similar to Slap Jack it's a super fun way to learn!

To Play (2-4 players):

Place the CENTER cards face down in a pile.

Deal the PLAYING cards equally among players and place them face down in a pile in front of each player.

First player will flip over one of the CENTER cards.

In clockwise order, players flip one card at a time. When a PLAYING card is flipped that matches the CENTER card: SLAP-IT! (matches will be in many formats)

The first player to slap the card takes the center pile of cards that have been played and adds them to the bottom of their own pile.

Flip over another CENTER card and continue playing, this time matching the new card that has been flipped over.

Game is finished when time is up or one player has all the PLAYING cards.

Learning 2D Shapes is a blast with this 2D Shape Slap It! Card Game! Similar to Slap Jack it's a super fun way to learn!

Extend the Activity

Select Shapes

For younger kids and those just learning basic shapes, you can use only the most common shapes. Pages 4 and 7 include common shapes and corresponding real-life pictures.

Match Pictures

Work on picture-to-picture correspondence by using pages 4-6 and 20-22 (or any matching selections from those pages.) Use all varieties of cards for a limited amount of shapes.

Scavenger Hunt

Use any and all cards from the game to hide around the room. Students can find them and identify, sort, write them down, or another variation to get them actively learning.

Get 2D Shape Slap-It! Card Game Math Center Here:

Get your printable learning activity here
download this printable on Teachers Pay Teachers

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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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