Match Squares and Rectangles

Use a School Readiness Activity to provide early mathematics thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.
Mathematics (5,035)

Match Squares and Rectangles


  • To identify squares and rectangles
  • To compare squares and rectangles

A chalk or masking tape rectangle on the floor
Sturdy strips upon which squares and rectangles have been glued in patterns
Paper squares and rectangles of the same size as on the strips
Prepare squares and rectangles ahead of time.

Literature Suggestion
Read I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric A. Kimmel. As you read and show the illustrations, ask children to find rectangle shapes (books, book cases, doors, desk, window panes).

shapes squares
rectangles     alike
different compare

  • Ask children to walk around the masking-tape rectangle and notice that it has 2 long sides, 2 short sides, and 4 corners.
  • Show children the different colors and sizes of rectangles. Help them notice that a rectangle is a rectangle no matter what size or color it is.
  • Give each child a paper rectangle and have them see, touch, and say rectangle and feel its sides and corners.
  • Ask children if they can find any rectangle shapes in the room (shapes of doors, windows, pictures, paper).


  • Give each child a strip with rectangles and squares on them and the collection of loose paper rectangles and squares. Show children how to see, touch, and say the names of shapes on the strip. Trace around a shape on the strip and say square or rectangle. Then pick up the corresponding shape and match it to the shape on the strip. Have the children trace around the shapes on their strip, find the corresponding shapes, and say the names of the shapes.
  • After children have matched rectangles and squares, ask them to compare the squares and rectangles. How are they the same? (Both have 4 sides and 4 corners.) How are they different? (Square has sides that are the same length; rectangle has 2 short sides and 2 long sides.)
Show children a variety of squares of different sizes and colors that they can use to make square pictures (buildings, towers, bridges).

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can identify a square and a rectangle, and can tell how they are alike and different.
  • In Process - Child can identify a square and a rectangle, but has difficulty saying how they are the same and different.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet identify a square or a rectangle.

Excerpted from

School Readiness Activity Cards
Pearson Early Childhood
Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.
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