Kids love to play with blocks, build structures, and experiment. 2D and 3D geometric shapes and solids activities are perfect for this kind of experimentation. They allow for creativity while also teaching important skills and information about how they can be used.
What are 2D shapes?
2D shapes are closed figures that are flat surfaces that may have edges and points (vertices). A circle doesn't have vertices, but it does have a flat surface and it is a closed shape. Although pattern blocks are not really 2D, we often use them in activities that are 2D and we refer to them as 2D shapes. Kids love to use these blocks to create patterns and then count the number of each shape used. Some of the most common shapes are circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, and trapezoids.
It is fun to learn about the different shapes and also how to identify them in our environment.
What are 3D solids?
3D solids are closed figures like the 2D shapes with flat surfaces that may have edges and points (vertices) but they have another dimension, height. A sphere is an exception because it doesn’t have any flat surfaces or edges or points, but it has a curved surface and depth. A cone has edges, a flat surface, a curved surface, and a point (vertex). Because of the different combinations of edges, vertices, and curved surfaces or flat surfaces, the characteristics are different from those of the 2D shapes. Some solids can roll, some can slide, and some can do both. Some common 3D solids are spheres, cones, cubes, prisms, pyramids, and cylinders.
Here are some posters that give the attributes or characteristics for some 3D solids.
How characteristics affect creating structures
It is always fun to try out different objects to see if they roll, slide, or do both. Also, how many times have you tried to balance something on the point of a cone or pyramid? Depending on the shapes, different structures can be created. Here is a resource I created that tests out some of these things.
Sampler activities and other resources for geometry
I have created a geometry scavenger hunt activity and a sampler bingo game for you. You can get your free copy here.
Our environment is made up of many different shapes and solids. It is fun to try to identify the different shapes or solids that are around us. There are many opportunities to explore and learn about geometry around us. Check out some more ideas here.
For more practice with the different 2D shapes and 3D solids, check out my geometry category in my TeachersPayTeachers store. I also have some resources for those who are doing distance teaching and require online resources.
So there you have some ideas, activities, and resources to help your students explore 2D and 3D geometry and have fun along the way. I would love to know if you have any other favorite activities that you enjoy doing when teaching geometry.
Don't forget to grab your free copy of the scavenger hunt and bingo sampler here.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.