The Shape Song

Lycra Song

The Shape Song introduces information on the features of shapes in a fun group activity. This activity will only work with a small group (maximum of ten) and should be played in a focused music session, rather than in the wider nursery setting, as it requires focus and attention from the children involved.

Lycra songs are brilliant for developing social skills and teamwork in a fun and accessible way, encouraging cooperation as well as moving and handling skills.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

– Making Relationships

Communication and Language

– Understanding

Preparation for Literacy

– Reading


– A large empty space

– A drawstring bag

– The shapes: a triangle, square and circle

– A piece of colourful lycra


There’s a triangle bouncing
Bouncing high and low
There’s a triangle bouncing
How do we know?

It’s got three sides, can you see
Shall we count them, one, two, three.
There’s a square bouncing
Bouncing high and low
There’s a square bouncing
How do we know?
It’s got four sides, are you sure?
Shall we count them, one, two, three, four!

There’s a circle bouncing
Bouncing high and low
There’s a circle bouncing
How do we know?
Has it got any sides?
No, no, no
And it looks like a zero

11-1 The Shape Song - Full Song

How to...
Step by step

1.Ask the children to sit in a circle, then reveal the drawstring bag and ask the children to guess what might be inside;

3.Pull out the lycra and lay it in the middle of the circle, then ask the children to hold onto the lycra with both hands;

5.Place the triangle on the lycra and get the children to bounce it around. At first allow them to do it how they like, so the group can see that when they do not work as a team, the exercise will be unsuccessful, as the shape will either fall off the lycra or not bounce high enough;

7.Sing the first section of the song and on the line ‘How do we know?’, stop and ask the children if they know the answer. When they have answered, continue to the second part of the song;

2.Show the group the shapes and ask the children about them, for instance what they are called and the differences between them;

4.Practise lifting the lycra up and down at the same time, and keeping a steady beat. Stop and start again as many times as you need to;

6.Talk about how to do it properly, and start again, attempting to bounce the lycra up and down to a steady beat;

8.Repeat this with the next two sections of the song: the square and circle.

Extension & Development

1.When the group are more familiar with the lycra and the initial excitement has worn off, you can have fun with bouncing the shapes as high as you can on the count of three;

4.This song provides great scope for explaining and embedding knowledge of sentences and rhyming structure. When the children know the song well, point out the repetitive rhymes (‘see’ and ‘three’) and see if they can spot them. Repeat this as many times as necessary.

2.Have a go at coming up with words for other, less common shapes, and use the same tune to turn them into an additional verse;

3.Expand the group’s knowledge of shapes by asking them to think of other things that are the same shape as the ones used in this exercise e.g. plates are circles, etc.;


Early Learning Goals

Activity Contribution to Goals

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Making Relationships

1.    Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others.

2.    They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.

3. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

Children are supported to understand that cooperation and teamwork are an essential part of the activity.

Communication and Language



1.    Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

2. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

There are several rules for working with the lycra that must be implemented and understood in order for the activity to work;

A lot of knowledge is obtained and understood about the different features of the shapes within the song, embedded through repetition.

Preparation for Literacy


1.    Children read and understand simple sentences.

2.    They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words.

3. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

The song introduces practical vocabulary;

The song embeds knowledge of sentences and rhyming structures.