Are you looking for fun, hands-on activities to teach shapes to your Preschool or Pre-K students? These printable road shape mats are perfect for young children learning to identify shapes. You can easily include these shape mats in your lesson plans for transportation themed activities too.
Your students will love this playful hands on active learning experience that uses toy cars to teach shapes!
Road Shape Mats
Did you know that learning to recognize shapes is a precursor to identifying letters of the alphabet? True story!
When you’re using fun, hands-on learning activities like these road mats, you’re actually helping your kids develop very important pre-reading and pre-writing skills.
The first step in learning to identify letters is to understand the true definition of letters. That definition is, “letters are shapes and those shapes have names.”
When young children are engaged in playful learning, such as using toy cars and tracing the shapes on the mats, they’re also developing hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, muscle control, and eventually muscle memory.
Seeing the shapes on the mat and naming them helps prepare young children to identify letters and numbers and then to name them, and eventually to write them.
Road Shape Mat Materials
Here are the materials you will need to prepare this hands-on learning activity for your kids:
- Printer and ink
- Laminator and laminating film
- Small toy cars
- Small object to mark what doesn’t belong
Road Shape Mat Prep
Now it’s time to start prepping your road shape mats. First, print the mats on cardstock and laminate for durability.
I have included both a black and white and a color version of each shape for you, choose the one that best meets your needs and those of your students.
You may also choose to start with the easiest shapes to identify first, such as circle and square, then work your way up to the more difficult shapes later.
How to Use the Road Shape Mats
Next, introduce the road shape activity mats to children during your small group time. When introducing the mats it’s important to follow a certain sequence. Start by showing the shape mat to the students in your small group, then name the shape aloud, and then ask them to repeat the name of the shape to you.
Finally, give each child the same shape mat you just introduced, say the name of the shape again, and ask them to repeat the name of the shape as they use their cars to trace the shape over and over again. This will also be great for them to work on their fine motor skills.
More Activities Using Mats
- Printable Play Dough Mats – Add mats to your play dough center to support academic skills like counting. Your play dough center can be a great place for preschoolers to develop fine motor skills, use their imaginations, explore their own ideas, practice social skills, and work independently or cooperatively. The playdough center can even help support important emergent literacy and math skills.
- Alphabet Play Dough Mats-106 page of hands-on fun to help your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten students learn the letters of the alphabet!
- Floor Tile Play Dough Mats-Are you tired of the sticky residue that play dough leaves behind on your tables? Or how about those play dough mats that curl up and fall apart after lots of use? I found something that is extremely durable and will protect your tables from play dough, keep reading to find out my secret!
- Craft Stick Shape Mats-These craft stick mats will help your little learners identify 2D shapes! Your kids will love making shapes with inexpensive craft sticks.