Children start noticing shapes from a young age, and learning to identify and name them often happens without much planning at home. We tend to include the different shape names in our conversations with our kids or point out various shapes as they play with shape sorters and other similar toys. This blog post will provide you with the names of the most common two-dimensional shapes in French and give you ideas on how you can practice these concepts with your child with toys and games.
What are shapes in French? A shape is “une forme” . In the plural form, they are “des formes“.
Common shapes in French
A circle – un cercle
A square – un carré
A rectangle – un rectangle
A triangle – un triangle
A heart – un coeur
An oval – un ovale
A cross – une croix
A rhombus – un losange
Toys for learning shapes
There are many toys on the market that can help you teach shapes to your child.
Shape sorters are one of the first toys that infants begin to experiment with. Depending on their age, they may be simply interested in the lid or the box, or they may be having fun putting things in and taking them out. If your child is starting to try to put the shapes in the corresponding holes, you can point out the name of the shape in French so they make the connection between the word and the object in their hands.
There are a plethora of different types of shape puzzles for children. Large knob puzzles are easier for infants to grab and hold while toddlers can graduate to peg puzzles or chunky puzzles.
Shape blocks are a lot of fun to play with. Kids love to use their imagination to build with them. We’ve had the IKEA MULA building blocks for a long time, and it’s only now that my daughter has begun to show interest in it. She often invites me to build a house with her. It’s a great opportunity to practice shapes – rectangles for the main walls, squares for the smaller walls, triangles for the roof, etc.
Books about shapes
I tend to favour books that not only introduce shapes to children but also point out shapes that exist in the real world. If the books manage to include how to combine shapes to create other shapes, that’s a bonus!
The book that we use at home and that combines most of the elements mentioned above is Paddington et son drôle de sandwich. It follows Paddington bear around town as he tries to find a list of shapes.
Shape hunting in the neighbourhood
Inspired by Paddington, we often head out to find shapes in our neighbourhood. Once you start pointing out shapes and naming them in French, your child will also begin to notice, and later, identify them.