Learning 2D shapes in kindergarten and preschool is a key component of the math curriculum. Students can work all year long on naming, describing, sorting, and classifying shapes. The Free 2D Shape Playdough Mats will get a lot of mileage at your math center! Kids love playing with play dough and teachers love the benefits of fine motor activities paired with important skills. All you need to do is download and print the 2D shapes worksheets, protect them, and stock up on playdough!
Learning 2D Shapes in Kindergarten
SHAPE MATS FOR PLAYDOUGH
SHAPE IDENTIFICATION (2D AND 3D SHAPES) IS A KEY COMPONENT OF KINDERGARTEN CURRICULUM. PLAYING WITH PLAYDOUGH WHILE LEARNING IS A GREAT WAY TO ENGAGE STUDENTS.
Shape activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners are best when they are hands-on and fun. Children will develop hand-eye coordination and build small hand muscles while learning to identify shapes.
I like to include 2D shapes worksheets for small groups in my lesson plans all year. Students are either still learning them, or enjoying a fun game to develop automaticity in naming them or to begin describing them.
In addition to practicing shape names with the playdough shape mats, students can begin to describe 2D shapes sides and vertices. Questions for thought might include:
- Are the edges straight, curved, or both?
- How many sides?
- How many corners?
- Can you find objects in the room that are the same shape?
What Can Playdough Activities Teach?
PLAYDOUGH AND FINE MOTOR SKILLS
PRINTABLE 2D SHAPES FOR KINDERGARTEN ACTIVITIES WITH PLAYDOUGH KEEPS STUDENTS ENGAGED.
Whether kids are rolling small balls, pressing with fingers, or shaping dough, their fine motor development will improve.
While playing and learning about shapes, children will also develop other important skills:
- Oral language
- Describing words
- Spatial relations
Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn About Shapes?
Children are naturally curious about everything around them. Learning about shapes is an important foundational skill in math.
Compare and Contrast: Learning shapes helps children’s brains get better at comparing and contrasting objects. It gives them valuable practice sorting and classifying as well.
Numbers and Letters: When children begin to learn letters and numbers, they see them simply as shapes. Background knowledge about actual shapes helps them learn these new “shapes.”
Language Building: Learning to identify and name shapes gives children new vocabulary. Describing them introduces a whole other set of other math terms that will be expanded upon in future learning.
Spatial Relations: Children build upon spatial relations when they learn to identify shapes. Completing a puzzle or putting shapes into appropriate holes are great ways to put spatial relations into play.
How to Make The 2D Shapes Play Dough Mats
Print the play dough mats.
Laminate the mats for durability and protection from the dough.
After the activity is prepped, you can implement any way you like! I included two versions of printing to trace when your students are ready (Traditional/D’Nealian)
More Ways to Use the Shape Play Dough Mats
Sort Pattern Blocks
Use the play dough mats as sorting mats. Children can find a shape, then place it on the correct mat while naming the shape and/or describing its characteristics.
Making homemade play dough is a fun way to add some science into the day! There are tons of recipes that are easy and include simple ingredients (just have some cream of tartar on hand).
Use the free shape mats as reference posters to hang near the math center. Students will often refer to easily accessible visuals when working on other activities throughout the day.