When do Kids Learn Shapes. A Practical Guide

A discussion about when do kids learn their shapes.

Learning shapes is a big milestones for kids. Read our practical guide explaining when do kids learn shapes and what to expect at every age.

Every first-time parent of a child worries about their child’s development, but every child develops at a slightly different pace. Yes, there are a few key markers that children are known to hit at a certain time frame, but it is no worry if they do not hit the mark right on time.

A child learning different shapes is a prime example of this.

When should a child know their shapes

A discussion on teaching kids various shapes.

The age of 2 is a great time to start working with a child on shapes, but it is important to start with the basic shapes. The basics shapes include:


It is common for children to understand and recognize these by the age of 2 1/2. They can be reinforced by pointing out objects that are shaped the same.

Once they have an understanding of the basics, it is time to move onto some of the harder shapes, and these include oval, heart, star, and diamond. They should have a good understanding off all of them by the age of 3 but do not feel discouraged if they are still struggling a little. This one can be a little harder to find objects shaped the same way, but it is not impossible.

What shapes should a 3-year-old know

As previously stated, a 3-year-old should have a good understanding and be able to recognize most basics shapes like: square, rectangle, circle, and triangle, but they should also have an understanding of ovals, hearts, stars, and diamonds. Some others that should be taught to a child by the age of three are pentagon, hexagon, and octagon.

How do children learn shapes

There are many wonderful things that can help children learn shapes. One of these things includes the classic toy where children put three-dimensional shapes into their appropriate holes. Many people get this toy for their child because it helps to build their motor skills by having them move around and slide them into the right shaped holes. 

The parent can also use this toy though to be slowly working on teaching them by pointing out what shape they have in their hand and asking them to find that shape’s hole. Below are two toys that are often recommended because they are very helpful in learning shapes, but they can also help with learning colors.

puzzle that teaches shapes for kids

This toy is safe for children starting at the age of 36 months. This product has 8 differently shaped beanbags that have their name printed on them. The shapes that these beanbags are made into are circle, triangle, square, rectangle, pentagon, oval, star, and hexagon. 

Each of the bags is a different color, so they can be used to help with learning the colors as well. These colors are the basic shades of each color: red, purple, green, pink, yellow, blue, orange, and brown. They come with a draw-string bag to store the beanbags away when no in use, and it makes them easy to take to go visit grandma and grandpa. 

With them being beanbags, the child’s motor skills can be developed more because the parents could have the child toss them the correct shape. The great thing about these beanbags that the parent love is that it is completely washable as it is made out of felt, which also makes the lightweight and safe for the child to handle. 

Each beanbag is around 4 to 5 inches, which makes it perfect to fit into a small child’s hands. They come with a handy sheet called the tip sheet that gives the parents unique and fun activities that they can do with the shapes to make the learning process fun.

Learning Resources Plastic Pattern Blocks

This toy is great when used on a flat and solid surface, such as a table. They are very small, so children who still tend to stick things in their mouth should not have access to them without strict supervision. There are 250 pieces in total, and they come in a small plastic tub, which means they can be put away easily. 

There are 6 different shapes that can be found in the tub with each of the shapes being a different color. The shapes that are included are hexagon, square, trapezoid, triangle, rhombus, and parallelogram, and the colors include red, green, yellow, blue, brown, and orange. 

One thing that makes these more unique than other shapes learning toys is that the children can slide them together to form other shapes or make a large pattern. The straight sides of these toys can be used to help teach a child how to measure with a ruler. 

A thing parents should keep in mind is that the container is made out of thin plastic, and if it is dented too many times, it will become weaker. This means it might be wise to look into some type of container to hold them eventually. Due to their size, the recommended age is 4 years.


If you had the question, “when do kids learn shapes?” Now you have a better understanding. If you are just getting started it’s time to work with your little one on the basic shapes. You can also find out when children learn colors.

infographic showing various children learning about shapes