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!

2D shape play dough mats

Recommended Grade Level:

2D Shapes Play Dough Mats Supplies:

  • Printer/Ink
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Play Dough
  • Dry Erase Marker

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?
2D shapes play dough mats

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:

  • Compare/contrast
  • Oral language
  • Describing words
  • Spatial relations
2d shapes with play dough

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

Step One:

Print the play dough mats.

Step Two:

Laminate the mats for durability and protection from the dough.

play dough mats for 2D shapes

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.

Make Dough

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).

Posters

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.

2D shape play dough mats
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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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9 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for all your wonderful materials and the hard work you put into making them! My classes, and I truly appreciate it all!

  2. Kim,

    I have been downloading your freebies for a while now and wanted to say “Thank you” for the awesome work you do. I teach K4 at my church and these resources have been super for my kiddos. Hope your summer is great and thanks again for sharing!

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