Language Works

Shape Sort

Ideal for Infant , Toddler

Drawing of an open book.

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to understand and use a growing vocabulary.

Materials Needed:

  • Shoe box or similar box
  • Objects with a variety of attributes, such as shape, color, or size
  • Scissors

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  1. Cut two or three holes in the top of the box.
  2. Show your child the objects. Ask him or her to find an object and put it in the hole in the box, e.g., “Where’s the ball? Can you put it in the hole?”
  3. Continue as long as your child is interested. Try playing this game over several days, adding new objects each time.

Learn More: For older children, try asking for a specific shape or size, rather than the name of the object, e.g., “Can you find something red? Can you find something round?”

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