2nd Grade Math: Learning Shapes

In 2nd grade, students manipulate shapes and learn to recognize their specific attributes, such as number of angles. You can reinforce these skills at home through fun, hands-on activities.

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What Activities Can Help My Child Learn 2nd Grade Math Shapes?

In 2nd grade geometry, your child likely will learn to manipulate basic shapes, including rectangles, squares, triangles, circles and diamonds, by dividing them into halves, thirds and fourths. Some schools also may introduce more advanced polygons, like pentagons and octagons.

Additionally, 2nd graders may develop an awareness of the characteristics of shapes. For instance, they may learn that triangles have three angles, while pentagons have four. They also might learn that a cube is a 3-dimensional shape that has six equal faces.

When reviewing shapes with your child at home, choose activities that have a lot of repetition. Repeated exposure to terminology and the appearance of shapes can help solidify the material for your child. You also may want to choose games that allow your child to interact with different shapes.


Shape Hunt

When you and your child are out running errands, give him or her a piece of paper, and ask your child to look for shapes in the real world. Every time he or she sees an object that is a shape, have him or her draw a quick picture and label it. For example, if you're driving on the highway, your child might draw a rectangular exit sign.


Make cut-outs of all the shapes your child needs to recognize, like triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons and hexagons. Then, ask him or her to use the cut-outs to make a picture. For example, he or she might make a person using a circle for a head and a rectangle for the body.

Name That Shape

Create cards with a drawing of a shape on one side. Sit across from your child and keep the cards face down on the table. On your turn, flip over a card. Whoever calls out the name of the shape first gets to keep the card, and whoever has the most cards by the end of the game wins. Feel free to repeat shapes in your deck because repetition can help your child remember his or her shapes.


If your child simply needs to memorize the shapes, you can make flashcards. Using blank note cards, write the name of a shape on one side, and draw a picture of it on the other. Then, use the flashcards to quiz your child on a regular basis.

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