Naming and describing 2D and 3D shapes

There are two componets in this goal. To achieve it your child needs to know the difference between flat (2D) and solid (3D) shapes and name some simple shapes. The 2D shapes that your child should know are: square, circle, rectangle, triangle, and star. BTW, diamond, oval and heart are not mathematical names.

Explore the properties of 2D shapes

2D shapes have:

  • VERTICES = angles = corners

Make it

Lolly sticks and velcro dots


They are so easy to make, but remember to put the dots on both sides and each end of your sticks.

2D shapes


Play-dough is amazing for building muscules in your child's little fingers. I make play-doug myself, it only takes a few minutes, you don't need to cook it and it lasts months! Drop me a text if you need my recipe.

Your free pdf worksheet is here

Colouring Fun: Free Worksheet


Your free pdf is here

Sort out 2D and 3D shapes

The goal is to know the difference between flat (2D) and solid (3D) shapes.The children should be encourage to explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

Make it

Turn 2D shapes into 3D shapes

3D to 2D

2D into 3D Take a deflated balloon, present it to your child and discuss if it is flat or not (flat shapes we call 2D). Next, blow some air in it, and watch it grow. Wow, it is not flat anymore, so it is 3D. I often use a reference 3 is bigger than 2 and it is fuller, fatter.

Turn 3D shapes into 2D

3D to 2D

3D into 2D Show your child a cereal box. explain that is is solid not flat so it is 3D shape. Now, flatten it! Jump on it, smash it with your hand, and you have a 2D shape now. It is flat, right? You can also have lots of fun flattening play-dough or big cardboard boxes.

Is it 3D or 2D shape?


When you child starts to understand the difference between 2D and 3D practice sorting the shapes.

Mix together any 2D shapes and 3D shapes you can find in your house, put two bowls one with a sign 2D, other with 3D. Ask your child how many he/she can sort in 5 min or maybe 30 seconds? Use a timer!

Buy it

Create tangram pictures

Making pictures with tangrams is so much fun. You can follow the ready patterns or create your own. Lesson to learn for your child: you cannot make a flat picture with 3D shapes.

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Name simple 2D and 3D shapes

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Geomag Fun


Geomag is great for that. You can use metal balls for vertices and magnetic sticks for sides. Look at the shape first and count how many vertices and sides will you need to build them. Use desired mathematical language.

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Explore 3D Shapes

Make it

Take a shape for a walk


Pick a different shape daily and take it with you for a walk. Try to spot it around you. Compare with the one you have in your pocket. Is it really the same one? How many corners does it have? Are all sides the same? I recommend to start with 2D shapes.

Make your own 3D shapes

3D diy shapes

Make a 3D shapes using cut up straws and playdough as connectors.

Buy it


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BrainBox game

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3D Shapes

Before buying, check if you still have baby shapes sorting cubes, because you might already have a good selection of 3D shapes.

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