Pre-Math Skills : Matching Colours and Shapes

Pre-math skills introduce concepts crucial to developing your students understanding of math.

There are a whole host of pre-math skills, all of which I hope to cover in this blog in the coming weeks.  I thought I would start with two of the simplest  - matching colours and shapes (or "colors" depending on where you are in the world!).  

Colour Tubes

The activity above was a huge hit with my preschoolers!  We had several different colour versions and my class enjoyed swapping their versions with classmates so that they could try out some new colours.

All that is required to make these is coloured construction paper, tissue boxes and kitchen roll tubes (toilet roll tubes gross me out!).  Simply use the tubes to draw holes in the tissue box and cut out the holes with a craft knife.  Then cover the tubes and boxes with coloured construction paper.  We covered all of the boxes and tubes with thick plastic tape to prevent the paper from being ripped.

Colour Monsters

My preschoolers enjoyed making these colour monsters!  They are really easy to prepare - simply cut around milk cartons to create a "monster mouth" and have your students cover them with paint and add eyes.  *TOP TIP*  add some kitchen washing up liquid to your paint to prevent it from peeling off the milk cartons when dry.

The colour monsters love eating!  However, they only eat food that is the same colour as themselves.  We had lots of fun playing various circle time games with these monsters and play food.

Colour Bottles

We made these paint filled bottles above as part of a lesson on mixing colours.  Afterwards we decided to keep them to use in circle time matching activities (after taping the tops in place!).  Adding glitter and small toys (of the same colours) would turn them into awesome discovery bottles.

Colour Wall Display

This wall display was made by one of my colleagues in the Nursery Class (hence the American spelling of "colors").  Every class was named after an animal and the Nursery Class that particular year were Bumblebees.  The coloured squares are simply sheets of origami paper and the bee was black and white clipart photocopied on to various sheets of coloured construction paper.  Each square and bee had a piece of velcro attached however I personally prefer using magnets (as they are easier for the children to use because they don't have to "tear" things off the wall!).  

Shape Post

The "shape post" was another preschool favourite.  The rather strange looking white 'T" shape is the logo of the Japanese post office.

The shape post was made using tissue boxes, red construction paper (covered in clear thick tape), shape clipart and envelopes from the 100 yen store (which I laminated).

This resource was useful and fun for learning both shapes and colours.

2D Shape Wall Display

The wall display above was featured in my "Panda Class".  The students enjoyed playing games to match the magnetic shapes to their panda owners.

3D Shape Hunt

I used to take my preschoolers on 3D shapes walks to search for real life examples of 3D shapes.  Later in the year we would use "recording sheets" to score out each 3D shape as we found it.

Your Ideas?

I'd love to hear what colour and shape matching games your students enjoy.  Please use the comments section below to share your ideas.



  1. My kinders LOVED watching/singing color and shape songs from youTube. I used them consistently in the beginning of the year and then once the concept was mastered the kids looks at them as a reward. Be careful though, these songs are addicting. I've been known to sing them outside of school ;)

    3D Shapes Song

  2. Nicole,

    LOVE that link - thank you! I always enjoy collecting resources for future lessons.

    I use the Frog Street Press Shapes and Colors (it's American!) CDs, however the shapes are all 2D so it's great to have a song for 3D shapes too.


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