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The Importance of Learning About Shapes For Preschoolers
Even babies can recognize the difference between a circle and a square, using their sight and sense of touch to tell them apart. However, learning the names of the different shapes is not an innate ability, but it is a necessary step in your preschooler’s education. Children need to learn the names of shapes so they can identify them verbally and in writing and compare different shapes and their uses. These are basic skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.
Learning shapes helps your child identify objects as well as letters. Letters are made up of circles, triangles and lines – think of the circles in b, d, g, p, q, or the parts of a triangle found in k, v and w. Drawing the curved lines of a circle or an oval shape helps your child write letters such as f, u, m, n, j, and the lines in squares help your child write i, l, k, p , q and so on . Often, recognizing patterns in letters helps a child recognize the letter as well, which is important for developing reading skills.
Drawing shapes is also the first step in learning to draw. Almost anything can be broken down into shapes, like a house, a cat, a book, a ball – they can all be drawn with simple shapes. This makes it easier for your child to move from stick drawings to more detailed artwork – and if they’re talented, they’ll also use shapes to draw and paint in the future.
Shapes are extremely important in basic and more advanced math. Most adults will immediately think of geometry, but shape patterns and spatial awareness help your child develop sequencing and logic skills that they’ll use later in their school career in subjects like numeracy.
We use shapes every day as adults, even if we don’t realize it. Consider rearranging the furniture in the living room, cleaning out the cupboards in the kitchen or the refrigerator – all this depending on the shape of the objects in them and how they will be related to each other. Traffic signs and markings use many different shapes, which helps us recognize them before we can read them.
Shape learning includes learning 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes. A sphere, or ball, is a 3D circle and has specific properties, such as the ability to roll, that some other shapes do not. This is true for all forms and your child will be able to make this progression if his basics are good.
For kindergarten, children should know basic shapes, recognize them and identify how they are part of other elements. They can also be expected to be able to draw the shapes – not perfectly, but certainly recognizably. There are many ways to encourage and help your child learn shapes.
Because shapes are all around us, it’s easy to play “Find the Shape” at home, in the car, at the store and elsewhere. Pick one shape at a time to focus on, rather than trying to find all the different shapes.
A good set of preschool worksheets will help your child recognize different shapes, see how they fit into other objects, and learn to draw them. Drawing shapes is the precursor to learning to write, and a good set of worksheets should guide you step by step through this process until your child is drawing shapes on their own, with raised hand. Look for worksheets that combine learning shapes with the use of different colors, as this is particularly effective in reinforcing shape names.
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