If you have upper elementary or middle school students, you will want to check out some of these 3D shapes resources!
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to 3D shapes, so hopefully this list of lessons, activities and games will get you started!
A fun way to introduce shapes to kids of any age (my kids have made these, at ages 4-5) is to build the shapes using their nets! This free nets printable pack includes nets for 8 different shapes, with and without tabs, that can be folded into three-dimensional shapes. Let your kids get creative and decorate them first! (Or if you want something more durable, you might try this set of folding geometric shapes).
And math is always more fun when you take it outside, so why not let your kids build 3D shapes out of sticks as seen at Creative Star Learning! This could also be a good engineering challenge if you leave the specifics up to them (what materials to use, how to get them to stand up and hold together, etc.)!
This 3D shape printable pack includes printable shape cards as well as their nets for a variety of games. These can be used with young kids to learn the shapes and make patterns, or to help older ones recognize the shapes’ nets!
Another fun game to play with little ones to help them recognize shapes in the world around them, as well as familiarize themselves with the vocabulary is this fun version of I Spy from Witty Hoots! Before playing, you might want to read 3-D Shapes by Marina Cohen which explores 3D shapes at the grocery store, or Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes by Stuart J. Murphy, another fun shapes adventure!
This free lesson is meant to go along with the book, Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone by Cindy Neuschwander. This is an excellent book, and a fun way to introduce the topic of Euler’s Formula for 3D shapes!
If you need some extra practice recognizing shapes, and understanding all the vocabulary, check out these FREE practice worksheets! Lots of practice with shape vocabulary and their nets.
Once kids learn about the shapes, understand all the vocabulary and recognize their nets, they will start learning and calculating the surface area and volume of those shapes. I have two FREE lessons for exploring surface area in a fun, hands-on way. Click here for the lesson on prisms and cylinders, and click here for the lesson on pyramids and cones.
I also have a free lesson for exploring the volume of 3D shapes! This visual, hands-on lesson makes understanding volume so much easier than memorizing a formula!
There are lots of ways to make math hands-on and fun, and I hope this gave you a great list of ideas for exploring 3D shapes! What are some of your favorite games or activities? Anything you would add to the list?
~Math Geek Mama
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