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19 Creative Shape Crafts for Preschool Children

Shape crafts for preschool kids are a fun way to learn about and interact with shapes. The activities in this article will not only teach them but will also develop your child’s creativity.

For these shape arts and crafts for preschoolers, the focus is on the process of art, not the product.

Doing shape crafts in preschool is a great teaching method for children that goes beyond just learning shapes. It helps them to build important skills such as:

It is important to note that shapes are not only the standard geometric shapes; you can also teach kids abstract shapes – like leaves and other shapes found in nature, or shapes they create with straight and curvy lines.

Shapes Crafts Pinnable Image

Here are 19 shapes crafts for preschoolers. You can use these at home or in your classroom.

Feel free to tweak and alter according to fit the needs of your child. Remember, it is more important to teach them skills than to look at the final product.

1. Potato Printing

Cut up some potatoes into different shapes. Make sure to include some geometric shapes along with abstract ones. Then, let your child print them freely. Dip them into paint and print onto paper.

Potato printing

Let them figure out what to come up with, to help them build their creativity. They can put the shapes one by one onto the paper or put the shapes together to create an image. Make sure to let your child decide what they want to do.

In this picture, the child is printing the shapes together to make flowers.

Printing flower shapes

2. Leaf Printing

This is similar to potato printing, but using leaves. Find leaves of all different shapes and sizes. Simply give your child the instructions, and teach them how to dip the leaves, but then leave the rest up to them.

Leaf printing

3. Nature Pictures

Collect grass, leaves, rocks, twigs, etc. from outside. Then, glue them onto a piece of paper. Each thing you find in nature will represent a different shape you can talk about with your child.

Use the items of different shapes and sizes to create a picture, whether it be an animal, building, or object.

4. Shape Collage

Give your child lots of coloured paper. Have the paper already pre-cut into all sorts of shapes of all sizes. Then, have your child make a collage freely. Appreciate whatever they decide to create.

They can create an animal, a house, or simply fill up the page with shapes. What’s important are the skills they are learning by doing this activity.

5. 3D Collage

Similar to the shape collage mentioned above, however, with this one, try to find 3D items for them to create something with. You can find twigs from the garden, popsicle sticks, beads, sequins, etc.

Then let your kids create something beautiful. Supply them with the collage materials and let their minds go to work.

6. Paper Tearings Collage

Give your child pieces of coloured paper and glue, and have her tear her own shapes and cover the page.

Tearing is excellent for developing finger strength and fine motor control.

Paper crafts

7. Shape Picture

You can also give your child a few precut shapes and ask him to create a picture using the shapes. 

You can choose whatever picture you want or have him come up with one on his own. It doesn’t matter what the end result is, just the process.

Shape picture

8. Fabric and Felt Pictures

You don’t have to sew the fabric; you can keep it simple. Just cut out shapes and glue them onto a piece of paper.

This is similar to a shape collage, but with different textures and colours. You can do the same thing with felt too.

9. String Art

Dip a piece of string into a tub of glue and lay it onto some paper. Your child can choose what shapes she wants to make with the string. Then, colour or paint over the string and paper.

When the glue dries, you can remove the string, and it will make a fun design with different shapes on the paper. 

10. Box Construction

This is a great way to teach 3D shapes. Use old cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, milk cartons, or whatever waste materials you can find in your house. Make sure to include all kinds of shapes and sizes.

Provide your child with liquid glue, tape, and whatever else he needs. Then, give him the freedom to create anything he wants!

Children love to create toy cars with cool gadgets made out of old moving boxes or build a fort with them as well. Let them decide what they want to create, however big it might be!

How cool is this animal made from toilet rolls and egg trays?

Learn more about the benefits of construction play and how to encourage it in your home.

Box construction cupboard

11. Pipe Cleaner Bending

Every child loves pipe cleaners! They are a great shape craft idea for preschoolers. You can bend them to make different shapes. You can even glue them onto a piece of paper.

Pipe cleaners can also be bent into letters as well so you can help your little one form the letters of her name.

Let your kids create the shapes they want, even if they are abstract. They will be using their imagination.

12. Playdough

If your child is a fan of playdough, this is another great hands-on activity. You can use cookie cutters or other tools to cut out different shapes from the playdough.

Or, you can roll it and squish it into the shapes you are teaching your child. Have them make their own shapes without guidance, as well.

13. Chalk Pictures

Chalk is a great tool to let your child’s imagination run and be creative. You can use paper or a small chalkboard inside or take some sidewalk chalk and draw on the paving outside.

Let your child draw as many shapes as he possibly can on a sidewalk or piece of paper or create pictures out of shapes.

Child drawing a picture with sidewalk chalk

14. Crayon Etch

You can buy these at the store or make your own. To make your own, start by colouring in an entire piece of paper using wax crayons. After you have filled it, put another layer of colouring on top, until the paper is thick with all the crayon that was coloured on it.

The final layer must be done in a black crayon. Then, use a pencil, toothpick, or a carving tool and let your child carve out different shapes. He will be amazed as he carves – the black colour goes away and beautiful colours come out underneath it.

15. Sand Pictures

Every child loves playing with sand. You can dye some sand in different colours first to make it more appealing if you’d like. Then, have your child draw different shapes and designs with glue onto a paper.

Sprinkle the sand onto the paper where your child put the glue. Let it dry. Then, shake the excess sand off the paper, leaving the shapes on the paper covered in sand.

Sand art

16. Food Art

You can use some of the food you have in your home to teach your child shapes as well. Dried beans, lentils, and pasta are great! If you want to have colours as well, you can dye the pasta before the craft.

You can decide what you want to do. Sometimes making jewellery with different shaped pasta is fun. But you can always let your child create what they want by glueing the food onto a piece of paper.

17. Finger Painting

When finger painting, you can simply let your child paint whatever they want. You can guide them by saying create something only by painting circles, or squares, or just let them do as they please as well.

Child fingerpainting

18. Tangrams

Tangrams are standard shapes such as triangles, squares, circles and rectangles, that are usually made out of plastic or wood. They are like shape tiles and you play with them by joining the shapes together into bigger shapes or pictures. 

If you have tangrams, or something similar, this is a great hands-on activity to let your child use their creativity, only using shapes.

Tangram cat

19. CD Crafts

There are lots of ways you can use old CDs to create something. You can have your child try to create an animal using old CDs and some paper, or think of anything else you can create with a big circle as the base. 

These are just a few ideas for some cool crafts to teach your kids the shapes, develop creativity and build fine motor skills. 

Here are more hands-on ideas for teaching shapes recognition, as well as some games about circles.


Would you like a year of done-for-you, ten-minute activities to teach your 3-5-year-old through play? Get your copy of the Learning Through Play Activity Pack for only $27.

Activity Pack for preschoolers

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