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3D Shapes


Put some 2D flat shapes into a bag – what are these 2D shapes? Slowly reveal parts of the 2D shapes and ask your child to identify what shape they think it is and use mathematical language to describe why. (Straight or curved edges, how many corners).


Now have a look at some large 3D shapes, one at a time (use everyday items around the house e.g. a cylindrical baked bean tin or a spherical ball, etc or use your child's building blocks). 

As you look at each shape, say the name and describe their features.  (3D shapes to look at = cube, cuboid, cone, sphere, square based pyramid, cylinder).

Sing the 3D shape songs. 

Go on a Shape walk – Be 3D shape detectives and go on a shape walk!  Give your child a 3D shape.  That is the shape they must look out for!  Look in cupboards, in the garden, upstairs, downstairs, etc.  Take photographs and use mathematical vocabulary to describe the shapes.  Upload your photos to Tapestry Reception and email them in Year 1s.


Year One: Now you have become more familiar with 3D shapes, can you sort the 3D shapes and begin to use the correct names for them using the document below?

Let's play a game:

Spread your 3D shapes around your room. Your adult will describe a shape. What shape am I? Stand by the shape you think they are describing. Include 3D shapes in the clues e.g. there are 2 of me on a cylinder. I have no corners. I have on curved side. There are 4 of me on a cuboid. I have 4 corners. I have 4 sides. 2 sides are longer and 2 sides are shorter.

Let's play the feely bag again but this time put 3D shapes in your bag. 

Pick out a 3D shape, one at a time.  What is the name of this shape?  What features does it have? Can you describe it?  Sing the 3D shape songs to support memory.

Real 3D shapes– Look at these photos, what is this shape?  Why do you think that?   Reveal the name – were you right? What features does it have?  Will this shape roll?  Why/why not? Ensure that children understand that shapes with a curved edge will roll.  


Year One: What do we now know about 3D shapes? Look carefully at the 3D shapes in the document below.

Write your results in the table.  Use the shapes to check to see if you are right.  Ensure you have this selection of shapes available for your child to test. Email me your answers.

Reception: Create a 3D model – Use a selection of 3D shapes to make a 3D model.  What have you made?  Why?  What shapes did you use?  Why?  Why won’t the sphere sit on the top? Etc. Take photographs and upload them on to Tapestry.
Have fun joining in with this fun 3D shape rap!

3D Shapes I Know (solid shapes song- including sphere, cylinder, cube, cone, and pyramid).mp4

Still image for this video

Can you solve the shape riddle?


I’m thinking of a shape – I have two circular faces and one curved edge, what am I?  Can you spot the shape in your house?  Can you tell your adult another fact about this shape?  Remember to use mathematical vocabulary.   Record your answers and upload to Tapestry (Reception) or email me (Year Ones).

Repeat with different shapes:


I’m thinking of a shape – I have 6 square faces and eight vertices (corners), what am I?  Can you spot the shape in your house?


I have five vertices and one square face, what am I?


Year One: Complete the activities below. There are some helpful questions for adults alongside each activity. 
Reception: Use the lolly pop sticks or sticks you have found outside to make the different shapes. How many sticks have you used? Can you count the corners? Can you find this shape around your house (inside and/or outside)? Upload your shapes to Tapestry.
Now you have become shape experts you can now be in charge of the shape feely bag! give your adult some clue as to the shape you are feeling. Can they get the correct answer?!