# Shape Games for Kids

According to a newsletter published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, geometry concepts, including shapes, must be taught from an early age to truly be mastered. Learning shapes as a preschooler helps reinforce skills that will help students throughout their school careers. Games make the learning seem more like fun than work.

## Online Games

### Creature Roundup

PBS offers this online shapes game called Creature Roundup. The game follows the premise that an evil villain has caught the baby animals in traps. The players job is to free the animals. As the child moves through the game, he will learn about

How to Play:

Use the right and left arrow buttons to make the character, a young boy, run until he comes to a path. When he reaches a path, hit the up arrow to follow the path.

When the player comes to a trapped animal, he frees the animal by completing the task he is given. The game also reinforces the concept of patterns, colors and numbers. It is based on the Wild Kratts characters.

### Magical Shape Hunt

A voiceover for Magical Shape Hunt explains how to help the mermaid collect shapes or jewels. If the player guesses wrong, the game will correct him. The game is best suited for preschool children ages four or five.

How to Play:

Use a net to capture the jewels from the stream. Move the net right and left to capture the type of jewels the mermaid asks you to. She will explain what the shape is. Your child will hunt for cubes and spheres or squares and circles.

Once the hunt is over, Cat will all down and drop a bunch of shapes and the player must use a magic wand and hover over the shape the mermaid asked him to collect.

### Shape Lab

The idea of the Shape Lab game is to help the character named Pablo finish an invention by giving him the right shape at the right time. This game is better suited for kindergarten age as it requires a bit of critical thinking. It teaches not only what each shape is but other details about the shape, such as that a triangle has three sides.

How to Play:

The student will be given a clue, such as a shape with "one side only" and will have to determine which shape to hand the character. You can also start with medium difficulty and then up the difficulty level as your child improves.

## Apps

### Bugsy Pre-K

A cute and cuddly hamster named Bugsy takes preschool aged children on a journey to learn preschool skills, including shapes. The parent has complete control over which topics the child learns, so you can set this to only teach shapes or start with shapes and more on. In addition, there are graphs to show how well your child is doing or where he still needs improvement. The app runs \$2.99 and is developed by Peapod Labs

How to Play:

Click to start the game and Bugsy explains what the child needs to do. For the shapes, it might include tasks such as clicking on the correct shape or moving it to another part of the screen.

The game self-adjusts difficulty as the child improves. Your child will learn basic shapes and more difficult concepts such as a diamond and a hexagon.

### Learn Shapes!

Learn Shapes! was created by IQ Foundry. The game was designed by a school teacher. It works with an iPad or iPhone. There are 16 shape-based puzzles, the ability to group shapes and descriptions of each shape.

How to Play:

The game is touch based. An explanation of each game is given. If grouping shapes, the child will touch the similar shape and drag it to where the other shape is, for example.

Preschool Adventure was developed by for iPhone and iPad. Similar to Bugsy, the focus is on preschool skills, but you can choose only the shape-based game to reinforce or teach those skills.

How to Play:

One game is called Shape Place. The child must recognize the outline of a shape and insert the object into the blank spot. Your child will also learn patterns and number and letter shapes. Most of the games are played by the child touching the object and moving it to a new location.

## Board Games

### Pirate Shapes Board Game

Pirate Shapes Board Game is from Orchard Toys. This game covers both colors and shapes. The concept is that a pirate picture can be created by matching the correct shapes. The game has some small pieces, so is recommended for children over two years of age.

How to Play:

Each player chooses a game board. All the game pieces are then placed in the center of the play area facing down. The game board has a shape in a color. For example, a red triangle. The player must turn over the triangles until he finds a red one. This makes both choosing the correct shape and remembering where different colors are located important. The first player to complete his board winds the game.

### Crocodile Hop Board Game

Crocodile Hop Board Game is a floor mat game created by Learning Resources. The game is for preschool aged children and teaches colors, shapes, numbers and counting from 1 to 10. It also reinforces how to follow directions. For ages 36 months and up.

How to Play:

Children roll an inflatable die and move down down a river riddled with crocodiles. The child must know shapes and colors to be able to move from spot to spot. The child can hop, lean over and place a hand on the spot, or twist around in different positions.

## Find Shapes Everyday

One of the best ways to reinforce the shapes your child has already learned is to reinforce those shapes in everyday objects. A slice of pizza is a triangle, and an orange is a circle. In addition, allow your child to draw shapes with sidewalk chalk, outline shapes with rocks and color in printables of different shapes. Before long, your child will be able to name any shape you point out to him.