I Spy a Mismatch

Recommended Age: 5+ | Mathematical Topic: Shapes & Geometry

A pen or pencil and paper.

What To Do

Create an “I spy a mismatch” shape game to play with your child:

1 Draw three shapes of the same type in a random arrangement on a piece of paper, and one shape of a different type (e.g., three triangles and one rectangle). Vary the three shapes of the same type so they aren’t all exactly the same (e.g., three different triangles).
2 Invite your child to identify which shape is different from the others, and prompt them to explain how they know.

Moving On

Once your child is skilled at finding the mismatch between shapes, you can have your child find the mismatch between features of shapes. For example, you could draw three different 4-sided shapes (e.g. square, rectangle, and rhombus) and one triangle. Then see if your child is able to identify which shape is different and describe why it is different (for example, the triangle doesn’t belong with the rest of the shapes, because it has 3 sides and the others have 4 sides).