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19 Creative Shape Crafts for Preschool Children

Shape crafts are a fun way to learn about and interact with shapes.

They will help develop important skills such as:

These shape arts and crafts focus is on the process of art, not the product.

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.

Try these 19 ideas with your preschoolers at home or in your classroom.

1. Potato Printing

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

Potato printing picture

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 children decide what they want to do.

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

Printing flower shapes with potatoes

2. Leaf Printing

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

Child painting leaves for leaf painting artwork

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 kids.

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

4. Shape Collage

Give your children lots of coloured paper. Have the paper already pre-cut into all sorts of shapes of all sizes. Then, have them 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.

Shape collage

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 children pieces of coloured paper and glue, and have them tear their own shapes and cover the page.

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

Collage of paper tearings

7. Shape Picture

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

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

Child creating a picture with paper shapes

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 children can choose what shapes they want 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 kids with liquid glue, tape, and whatever else they need. Then, give them the freedom to create anything they want.

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 creature

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 ones form the letters of their name.

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

12. Playdough

If your children enjoy playing with 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 children. 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 children draw as many shapes as they 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 children carve out different shapes. They will be amazed as they carve – 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 kids draw different shapes and designs with glue onto a piece of paper.

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

Child doing sand art

16. Food Art

You can use some of the food you have in your home to teach your children 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 kids create what they want by glueing the food onto a piece of paper.

17. Finger Painting

When finger painting, you can simply let children paint whatever they want. You can guide them by telling them to 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 children use their creativity, using only shapes.

Tangram cat

19. CD Crafts

There are lots of ways you can use old CDs to create something. You can have your children 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.

19 Creative shape crafts for kids -  Pinnable Image

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