A good way to help your child to learn about 3D shapes is to pick apart a cereal box to make it flat. You could
try making your own 3D shapes from nets. You will find some excellent printable templates at SEN Teacher. Print them out on card and all you'll need is a pair of scissors and a glue
stick or sticky tape. You could make several different 3D shapes and make a shape mobile.
Follow the links to the free online shape games. Your child will have lots of fun while developing their
knowledge of shapes.
Match the shapes to colour the picture, then click the movie button to see your picture come to
life! It's best to start with the "Easy" setting, which just involves dragging the shape to the
correct space. The "Hard" pictures take quite a long time to complete, because you have to resize
and rotate the shape to fit, which is quite challenging! (CBeebies)
Move your mouse around the white area of the screen to get a peek at the hidden shape. Talk
about and describe the shape - find the sides of the shape. Are they straight or curved? How many
sides? How many corners? Can you guess what it is? When you think you know, click on the eye to see
if you were right. (ICTGames)
A sequence of shapes is displayed and their names are spoken. Then they disappear and you have
to click on the correct shapes to recreate the sequence. (Primary Resources)
Shape games for adults and older children
There's a lot more to shapes than just circles, triangles, cubes and spheres! Do you know what tessellation is?
Could you calculate how many tiles you would need for your bathroom floor? Try out these quizzes and games for
adults from BBC Skillswise
Lots of video tutorials, quizzes and games to help with shape knowledge.
Whenever you're out and about with your child, talk to them about the shapes they can see. Some good ideas for
talking about shapes are:
2D (flat) shapes:
How many sides does the shape have?
How many corners does it have?
Are the sides curved or straight?
3D (solid) shapes:
How many faces are there?
Are the faces curved or flat?
What shape is each face?
How many vertices (corners) does it have?
How many edges (where two faces meet) does it have?
Eg: A Cube has 6 square-shaped flat faces, 8 vertices and 12 edges.
Origami is a useful way for children to learn about shapes. As you help them to fold the paper, talk about the
shape after each step and ask questions. Here are a couple of useful sites to give you some ideas: