When kids are just starting out with pencil and paper, they have lots to learn. The Plano Independent School District recommends that kids tackle shapes before moving on to ABCs and 123s. As you teach the process of drawing a square, give your preschooler special tips and instructions to help her make the four corners and sides just so. She'll feel so proud once she learns how to make spectacular squares.

1 Cut out a square shape from cardboard to make a tracing template for your little one. Make the square shape big enough to facilitate easy tracing -- at least 4 or 5 inches across. Once you have the cardboard shape cut, it will make a perfect tracing template. Hold the template on a piece of paper and help your little one trace around the sides and corners. Once finished, lift off the template and marvel at the perfect square.

2 Give your little one a practice paper with outlines of square shapes in various sizes on it. Have him trace the outlines of the square shapes to practice the process of drawing the corners and sides. Provide lots of encouragement as he's working on squares so he feels motivated and excited about his progress.

3 Move on to the real deal and have your little one try drawing a square by herself on a piece of paper. If she has trouble or gets frustrated, give her a little help by drawing one or two of the sides.

4 Show your little one how to make a simple square become a part of a bigger picture. For example, a square can become a house with a triangle on top for the roof or five squares in a row can become a train. Your kid may get excited when he sees the artistic possibilities available to him after he masters drawing a square shape.

5 Practice the skill of drawing squares as often as your kid will work on it. With each square, give lots of positive feedback, noticing how hard she works at drawing the squares. The more positive feedback you give, the harder she'll work to make squares.

#### Items you will need

• Cardboard or construction paper
• Scissors
• Paper
• Pencil

#### Tips

• Show your kid exactly what a square looks like so there's no confusion about the shape you're drawing. Find square shapes in pictures and in objects around the house. Talk about the fact that squares have four corners and four equal sides. The corners look like an upper-case "L" in various positions.
• If your tot gets frustrated, set aside the paper and pencil and go burn off a little energy. After the change of scenery, he might be ready to work again.
• Medline Plus states that preschoolers are ready to draw a square at around age 4.