## Helping Your Child Learn The Shapes

The ability to identify different shapes is an important visual discrimination skill. Many shapes have similar appearances (such as the square and rectangle or the circle, oval, and octagon) so the ability to tell them apart requires keen observational skills. As with learning to identify different colors, knowing the name of each shape can help your child communicate clearly by labeling objects accurately. Knowing the name of each shape will also allow children to correctly understand descriptions of objects when others are discussing items based on shape.

The shapes worksheets featured this week are for six of the most commonly seen (and easily identified) shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, and heart.  Next week, once your child is familiar with drawing and identifying shapes, I’ll post worksheets for more shapes which are generally more challenging to identify and draw: star, diamond, trapezoid, pentagon, hexagon, and octagon.

There are two shapes worksheets to help introduce your child to each shape: one worksheet that gives your child practice drawing the shape and writing the word for the shape and a second worksheet that gives your child practice identifying the shape. As you introduce each shape to your child, begin with the worksheet that gives your child practice tracing the shape and writing the name of the shape. With practice, your child will become adept at these important activities which require strong visual discrimination skills as well as strong fine motor skills since pencil control is critical when drawing shapes with defined features.

When your child is familiar with the form of each shape, introduce the second worksheet that asks your child to identify those pictures on the page that contain the featured shape. This will give him important practice recognizing the featured shape and it will also introduce him to the idea that shapes can appear naturally in his home and in the environment.

You can help your child extend this learning by showing him pictures of items with different shapes. For example, a ball, the full moon, a wall clock, and the lid to a jar are all circles. A game board, card table, napkin, and window are all examples of a square. Books, sheets of construction paper, and cereal boxes are rectangles. Challenge your child to walk through your house, calling out different shapes as he sees them.