Early learning shape, measure, position and movement are core to the early years maths curriculum. At this age your children should be taught to:

  • Use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance time and money
  • Recognise, create and describe patterns
  • Use mathematical language to describe objects


Early Learning Shape Activities 

Listed below are some ideas and games to help your children improve their shape, space and measure skills, supporting what they might learn at an early learning centre.

Seesaw, Margery Daw

Playing on a seesaw is a good way to develop your children’s understanding of weight. Combinations of people and toys can be tired to provide fun and games to help with understanding.

Making Your Own Balance Scales

By using a balance for weighing your children can see and feel that one objects is heavier than another. Scales with dials are best to use with older children. If you don’t own a set of balance scales you can improvise with household objects. Take a coat hanger with hooks at each end. Hang two small, plastic pots, the same size and weight, from the hooks by equal lengths of string. Then hook the balance on a doorknob or any other suitable place, and you have a home made set of balances.

Patterns With Shapes

Talk to your children about shapes that fit together (this is called tessellating.) Go for a walk and see if you can find any examples. Rectangular slabs fit together to make a pavement. Square tiles fit together in the bathroom or kitchen.

Show them the square tiles attached that fit together. Draw your own or print them. Help your children to decorate the tiles how they like. Let your children cut the tiles and sick them back together on a piece of card. As they become more confident you could cut out some triangles and see if they can make them fit together.


Apps and Games 

There are other fun and easy ways in which you can help your children learn about shapes, measures and movement. Here is a selection of apps and games available for tablet computers such as iPad’s. There are also some games that can be played online.

Missing Shapesearly learning

This game is good for children to help them identify shapes in everyday objects. It has a very simple format for your children to follow or with the help of you.



Finish the Patternearly learning

This is a basic game for your children to fill in the pattern. It is easy to use and will test your children’s skills.