What Shape is the Bottom of Your Jar?

What Shape is the Bottom of Your Jar?


Newspaper vendor, Paddington, London, February...
Newspaper vendor, Paddington, London, February 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  • An assortment of containers with various shapes on the bottom, jars and boxes
  • Crayons or markers, pencil or pen
  • Newspaper or brown paper grocery bags, cut open to lie flat


  • Using the marker or crayon, draw around each of the containers set down on the newspaper or grocery bag
  • Ask your grandchild to match all the containers to the drawings by setting the container inside the lines
  • Optional: You and your grandchild take turns closing your eyes and letting the other draw around containers, then open your eyes and match the containers to the lines.
  • Optional: sort out all the containers that are round, all that are square and all that are odd shaped. Use one piece of paper for each different shape, that is, one sheet of newspaper only has circles on it, one only squares.
  • Optional: ask your grandchild if they can find other containers in the house the same shape as one you point to on the newspaper

What Should Happen?

Your grandchild will quickly start to learn the names of shapes. They will also learn that even when something is a different size, it is still round or square.

Why Is This Useful?

People learn how to understand the world by sorting things that are alike. Color and shape are among the first two ways children learn to organize what they see.

Learning to notice and recognize shapes is a skill that leads naturally into recognizing letters and numbers, and, eventually, to reading.

Thanks to learner.org for this activity


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers”


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