How to learn colours, shapes and sizes easily

Shape sorting

Keeping up with home learning is really hard and I take my hat off to those parents that do it all the time. We took a relaxed approach over half term and went for an easy topic last week. Our early learning focus has been colours, shapes and sizes. In this post I will share some activities we have been doing that might also work for you and your children.

Colours and shapes

Colours and shapes are something we continually work on with young children. Learning to recognise and identify colours and shapes is an early skill but all children will learn at a different pace. The best way to support our kids is to keep labelling colours and shapes regularly with lots of visual supports.

We have had the Leapfrog picnic basket for years now but the boys still enjoy playing with it. It is a lovely set which includes different shaped foods to slot into the plates. Basic Shape puzzles are a great place to start identifying shapes.

Tea party
picnic with shapes

When cooking with kids cutting out pasty or biscuits with shape cutters is great fun. You can also use different coloured icing or decorations to decorate cupcakes and biscuits. This also works really well with Play-Doh.

Play-Doh shapes

I found some great colour by shape worksheets on Twinkl, we have done colour by numbers many times so this was a great alternative.

Colour by shape
Colour by shape

PECS with attributes

My kids use the Picture Exchange Communication System and it is great for using shape and colour attributes to try and extend their sentences. The boys were excited to select which shape biscuits they wanted (annoyingly none were left for me).

PECS Shape requesting
PECS shape requesting

A while ago we reviewed the Seekers Scavenger Hunt sets including colours and shapes. It was great to see the boys were a better at finding the different shapes and colours than the last time we played. A colour or shape scavenger hunt is a brilliant way to help generalise the identification skills.

Seekers scavenger hunt

There are so many different activities you can do, I would really recommend visual matching of shapes and colours. We started looking at halves and quarters with some toy fruit but this can easy done with real food also.

Basic colour mixing

Another great activity is mixing different colours either with paint or with water and food colouring.

  • red & yellow = orange
  • blue & yellow = green
  • red & blue = purple
  • red & white = pink
  • black & white = grey


Size can be a more difficult concept as visually it can be a bit more ambiguous. We are still working on big and little and sequencing by size. This is something we have regularly been including in our TEACCH bag activities.

I always find it easier to get the kids involved if we use their interests. My 4 year old is a Stick Man fan so we did some size sequencing using stick men.

Stick men sizes
ordering by size

Another regular feature in TEACCH bags over the years has been these Coloured bears that we have borrowed from school. They can be organised by sizes and colours.

big and little
sorting by big & little

Below is a nice activity again from Twinkl to separate big and small animals.

Sorting big and small
sorting by size

Below are our favourite shape and colour books that we have been using this week:

What are your favourite activities for colours, shapes and sizes?

If you found this useful you might be interested in my other early learning topics:

Was this article helpful?
***This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase from these links I may receive a small commission, this is at no additional cost to you and will support my blog.***

1 Comment

  1. 11th June 2020 / 4:11 pm

    Love this Jade! James would particularly like to sort shapes based on biscuits, although I think they might be sorted into his mouth quite quickly! Some wonderful ideas in here, a great resource as always! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.