Game with objects and shapes

Age group

3-5 yrs

Number of children:

3-7 ppl

Areas it develops: spatial orientation, learning about shapes, problem solving skills, vocabulary

Learning about our busy world, with a pinch of maths. We might think that maths, depiction, logics and arguing only comes in school but all of these skills have to be supported by undisturbed early developement. These next activitites develop visual-motor coordination, manipulation of different objects/things, the planned and precise grabbing motion, movement and perception. It is crucial to always give them enough time for observation and execution. Bare in mind that there might be multiple solutions, even ones that the adult does not think about, but a solution is a solution!

When children are learning about the world they also use their creativity and problem solving skills. In this game they can explore the features of objects with the help of their environment and of easy-to-follow rules. They get to learn about them from a fun point of you: from above. They can learn that things can look different depending on how you are looking at them.

Mathematics, representation, logic, reasoning; we think of these as concepts only appearing later in primary school. However, the undisturbed developmental processes in early childhood ensure the appearance of these functions. This play activity helps the development of visuomotor coordination, manipulation, the planned and precise stretching and grasping, gripping, movement, and sensing.

It is important to always leave enough time for children to observe and carry out this activity. It is also important to note that often there are multiple solutions, and children do not always choose that particular one of which the adult is thinking. But every solution is a solution.


  • we need only the objects in the room/house

What does it look like from above?


Show the children photographs of objects they are familiar with photographed from above. Let them find out what these objects are. After they have correctly identified an object, take it off the shelf and collect and discuss them: what material it is made of, is it heavy or light, what shape does it have, what does it resemble, etc. We can also discuss which parts of the objects were not seen on the picture but are visible in real life.

What shape does it have?


Pick some of the objects and examine their shapes. For example, the car wheel is round, the top of the house is a triangle, the top of the table is a rectangle, and so on. Then have the children collect similar forms from the room and whisper the adult what they have chosen. The adult then makes note of what each child has said.

Pro tip: This activity is highly beneficial for those kids, whose vocabulary is not yet too wide or who have difficulties with naming objects or to match shapes to their names. If a child usually only partakes for a short amount of time make sure to discuss with them the following rule in advance: the game is only over when at least 2-3 objects are placed for each shape. If the child stops earlier the adult should definietly help by offering objects: ’Where should we put your favourite ball?’ or ’Where does the toy apple go?’. Make sure to never order them (put it here, tell me…) Perhaps we could hand them an easy object (a building block for instance) and then whisper in their ear ’this one to the rectangulars’. Helping them is okay because this isn’t about teaching but about the experience and about playing on their own.



After a few minutes, everyone will try to recall the names of the objects from memory.

The adult can help if needed.