How to Teach Preschool Children About Rectangles

by Kathy Gleason, Demand Media
    Rectangles can be found everywhere in the home and classroom.

    Rectangles can be found everywhere in the home and classroom.

    Preschool aged children are like little sponges. They're ready to learn about so many topics, and your little one's bright happy smile will show that she loves these learning activities. Children this age should be learning about shapes, among the many other skills this big world offers. With so many things to teach kids, it can seem overwhelming, but if you break lessons into one thing at a time, it's easier! Rectangles are a fairly easy shape to work with, since kids see so many rectangles in their mini world.

    Items you will need

    • A picture of a rectangle
    • Rectangular books
    • Rectangular building blocks
    • Paper
    • Crayons

    Step 1

    Sit your preschooler down and explain the fun that's about to happen. Explain what a rectangle is -- that it's like a square stretched out. It is a shape longer than it is wide, and it can be turned so that it's wider than it is long. Each rectangle side has a corresponding side of the same length. Show your child a picture of a rectangle to demonstrate. Be ready to answer roughly 700 questions about rectangles, because most preschoolers love to know absolutely everything about any given you give them.

    Step 2

    Set out rectangular toys to keep your theme for the day going. Everybody has blocks around the house, so grab a few rectangle-shaped blocks and rectangular books. (That's most books). Have your little ones play with these and to get familiar with the concepts of what a rectangle is -- and how to spot a rectangle.

    Step 3

    Make a game of finding rectangles in your home. You may be surprised at how many shapes kids pick up on that you never even realized -- light switch face plates, built in ceiling lights, the rug, or a dining room table. Just be prepared because once this game gets started it can be hard to curtail and you may have an eye twitch by the end of the day, and find yourself shouting out "Rectangle!" to no one in particular that night after the kiddos are in bed. You can do this rectangle finding activity with just your own preschooler, or as a fun group activity if you are hosting a playdate.

    Step 4

    Lay out crayons and paper and have your preschooler practice drawing rectangles. He can either just draw the shape or turn the shape into other things, like apartment buildings or even odd shaped faces. This will probably keep him busy long enough for you to sit next to him and read a magazine peacefully or catch up on emails on your phone for a bit, a win/win. If you'd like, turn his pictures into a collage for your fridge door or for his own room.

    Tip

    • Consider making a shape of the week to work through all of the different kinds of shapes. For example, each Monday could be a differed shaped theme day. Start with easier shapes such as circles, squares and rectangles and work up to ones like trapezoids or octagons as time goes on.

    About the Author

    Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images