What's That Shape?

Recognize and name basic geometric shapes.

  • Target Age:  3-5 
  • Subject: math, art, vocabulary, design
  • Related Episode: Bag Monkey



  1. Draw a triangle, a square, a circle, and a rectangle on a piece of paper. Write down the name of each shape. Point to the triangle. Say the word aloud and ask your child to repeat it. Ask him how many sides a triangle has. Repeat this with all four shapes.
  2. Encourage your child to "draw" the shapes himself using either a traditional writing tool and paper or in a non-traditional medium such as shaving cream sprayed on the table, fingerpaint, sand, or a pan of uncooked rice. Your child could even "walk" in the shape of a triangle, square, circle, or rectangle.
  3. Explain to him that when people build something, they put together things that have different shapes. Tell him that it is important to know which shape is which as you build.
  4. Print out theWhat's That Shape(PDF). Direct your child to draw a line connecting each real object with the shape that matches it.
  5. Review the answers he picks with him. Ask him to name other objects that match the shapes on the page.

Take it Further

Take a walk around your house or yard and have your child point out different shapes that he sees in the real world. Ask him to count the number of times a triangle, square, or other shape appears. Tell him to look for more shapes around the house and share his discoveries with the rest of the family.

More Ways to Discover and Learn

Look in a Book

  • Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban
  • The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns


Find more activities featuring your child’s favorite PBS KIDS character!