Math at Home Math Access for Teachers
and Home Child Care Providers

CME Group Community Foundation



Fire Truck Fun

Children will make connections between pre-drawn shapes of a fire truck and that of the
snack shapes using various shaped snack items.

Content Area Standard Target
  • Geometry
  • Analyze characteristics and properties of two- and three- dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships
  • Apply transformations and use symmetry to analyze mathematic situations
  • Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems
  • Recognize, name, build, draw, compare, and sort two- and three- dimensional shapes
  • Describe attributes and parts of two- and three- dimensional shapes
  • Recognize and apply slides, flips, and turns
  • Recognize and represent shapes from different perspectives
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Obtain materials Obtain the Materials
  • A variety of snacks for fire engine parts – Oreos for the wheels, Graham Crackers for the body, small pretzel sticks for the ladder, licquorice string for hoses, red and/or green gum drops for flashing lights, Shredded Wheat rectangles for the cab of the truck. You can make the fire truck shapes out of any other food you choose.
  • A large picture of a fire truck (Download it here)
  • Paper that has all the parts of the truck labeled according to shape so that the children can place their snack on the appropriate geometric shape.


Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Introduce the activity Introduce the Activity
  1. Review basic shapes – circle, square, and rectangle. 
  2. Show the picture of the fire engine to the children. Have them point out the different shapes they see embedded in the fire truck.
  3. Explain that today for snack, the children are going to create their own fire trucks out of different kinds of food items.
Engage the children Engage the Children
  1. Show the children the variety of snacks and show them the fire truck paper. Explain that using their snack, they will first make a fire truck and then they can eat their fire trucks.
  2. Allow the children to put the shaped snacks onto the fire trucks.  After the fire truck shapes have been filled, let the children eat their snacks.

Additional Extensions

  • Let the children’s creativity flow.  Allow the children to construct the fire truck without the template.


Encourage vocabulary Encourage Vocabulary
  • Circle – A round shape that has no straight edges or corners (e.g., "The wheels of the fire trucks are circles.")
  • Rectangle – A shape with four sides (two long and two short) and four corners (e.g., "The body of the fire truck is a rectangle.")
  • Square – A shape with four straight sides that are the same length or size and four corners (e.g., "The cab of the fire truck is a square.")

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Make adaptations Make Adaptations

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

  • Have difficulty placing the correctly shaped snack onto the template.
Vertical line

Pre-K Children may:

  • Be able to match the shaped food with the corresponding shape on the templates.

Home child care providers may:

  • Help the children place the shaped snack onto the shapes on the template.
  • Simplify the template and have the children work with one shape at a time. 


Home child care providers may:

  • Let the children’s creativity flow.  Allow the children the construct the fire truck without the template.

Books Books
  • Shape by Shape by Suse Macdonald (New York: Little Simon, 2009)
  • The Shape of Things to Come by Dale Ann Dodds (New York: Turtleback Books, 1996)
  • Mouse Shapes By Ellen Toll Walsh (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007)
Music and movement Music and Movement
Outdoor connections Outdoor Connections
  • Have the children build other objects out of found materials.  You can either create a template that the children need to find shaped objects to complete the template or the children can construct their own objects out of found materials.  It might be hard for the children to find objects that are exactly the shapes of circles, rectangles & squares so you may have to provide objects to be used.


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