Shape Scavenger Hunt: finding, identifying, and grouping shapes in a picture

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I’ve got a fun math experiment for you today that involves very little on your part (we all need that sometimes).

Finding shapes within a picture builds visual discrimination and observational skills in children and helps them find shapes in everyday activities and surroundings.

All you have to do is print out the free printable I made for you, grab some crayons for your little one, and enjoy a few moments to yourself while your little one learns.

Shape scavenger hunt math experiment

How to make the Shape Scavenger Hunt math experiment

Supplies you will need

For this experiment, you will need the following:

Supplies needed for the Shape Scavenger Hunt math experiment

Before you start

In order to do this experiment, you will need access to a printer (you only need black ink).


Here is how to do the Shape Scavenger Hunt experiment with your toddler:

Step 1: Print out the free printable (link above)

Simply print out the free printable above and you’ll be ready to go.

Step 2: Have your child begin finding and coloring in shapes

We added a legend to the top left of our printable so we can count shapes as we found them

In this printable, your child should find:

  • Circles (2)
  • Triangles (9)
  • Diamonds (2)
  • Square (1)
  • Rectangle (1)

Have your child use a different color for each shape to help them identify them better.

Get your preschooler involved: This step is all about them! Allow your child to find all the shapes in the picture and use a new color for each shape.

Step 3: Talk through what they colored

What the final product might look like (including shapes totals)

Here’s a hidden lesson within a lesson: we are going to talk through the shapes they found. Have your child identify what each shape is, count how many of each shape they found, and identify the color they used with each shape.

The math behind the Shape Scavenger Hunt math experiment

This experiment teaches:

  • Shapes
  • Observation and visual discrimination skills
  • Boosts problem-solving skills

How it works

Having your child locate and identify shapes within a picture (or in everyday life) is a fun and engaging way to help your child develop and build upon a range of important skills.


Not only is your child locating shapes within a picture, but they are identifying them and differentiating them from other shapes by assigning a color to each of those shapes.

Learning shapes is the foundation your child needs to strengthen before moving on to geometry in later years.

Observation and visual discrimination skills

Identifying shapes in a picture like this one requires your child to observe the picture and differentiate between the shapes that make up that picture. This is key to developing their visual discrimination skills!

This experiment also builds their observation skills while they focus on the picture and identify multiple different shapes.


Finding shapes in a picture requires your child to think logically and use problem-solving skills to identify correct (and like) shapes. This can build their problem-solving abilities and cognitive development.

More math experiments that build observation skills to try out with your child

FAQ about the Shape Scavenger Hunt math experiment

How does a Shape Scavenger Hunt help my preschooler with math?

This experiment helps your preschooler with math by building their shape classification skills, aids in observation and problem-solving skills, and even helps introduce them to measurement by finding shapes of different sizes.

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