Toddler Programs Chapter

By Miranda Bauer and WyLaina Hildreth

Circle Triangle Square Dance

Books to Share

Black on White by Tana Hoban.

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh.

Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert.

Ship Shapes by Stella Blackstone.


Cut out basic shapes such as circles, squares, and triangles, and write the child’s name on the shape.


Make a Shape

Draw a circle, draw a circle,

Draw it in the sky.

Use your finger, use your finger,

Make it round as a pie.

Draw a square, draw a square,

Make the lines so straight.

Make a square, make a square,

Draw a box in the air!


Sing “ Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”


Super Shape Collage

  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Optional: Tissue paper, sand paper

In advance, cut shapes of various sizes and colors. Let the children glue the shapes however they want to onto the construction paper. After the glue dries, they can decorate their art with crayons. You may also use various textures when cutting out your shapes, such as tissue paper, sandpaper, etc.

People Shapes

  • Construction paper
  • Pre-cut shapes
  • Glue
  • Crayons

Pre-cut shapes in various sizes and colors. Give each child a sheet of construction paper. Have each child make a person out of the shapes. For example, a triangle could be used for a body, while a circle could be used as a head, and rectangles for arms. Show the book Thump, Thump, Rat-a-Tat-Tat by Gene Baer for inspiration.

Games and Activities

I Spy With Shapes

Seat the children in a circle. Start the game by saying, “I spy” and call out a shape that is in the room. For example, if you have a square table in the room, you could say, “I spy something square.” Have the children take turns guessing what it is. The child who guesses correctly gets to call out the next shape. Continue the game until everyone has had a chance to call out a shape.

Shape Hunt

Cut out circles, squares, stars, hearts, and triangles of various sizes and colors and place them around the room. Make one set from flannel material. Place a shape on the flannel board and then ask the toddlers to search the room to find the same shape.

Books to Display or Booktalk

Where a Line Bends... A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Greene.

Round is a Moon Cake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong.

So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban.

Thump, Thump, Rat-a-Tat-Tat by Gene Baer.

Bulletin Board

Make a bulletin board with basic shapes that when combined make animals you would find here in Texas. Utilize the book Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert for inspiration.


Display objects and props and label their shapes. For example display a beach ball and label it as a circle. Display a square throw pillow and label it as a square.

Professional Resources

DLTK’s Shape Buddies

This page contains activities for learning shapes, including printable coloring pages, paper crafts, and a jigsaw puzzle you can make.

Teaching Toddlers: Shapes

This web site features games and activities to teach toddlers shapes.

Texas Reading Club 2009 Programming Manual / Libraries: Deep in the Heart of Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011