The ability to identify and describe shapes, sizes, positions, directions, and movement is important in many work situations, such as construction and design, as well as in creating and understanding art. Becoming familiar with shapes and spatial relationships in their environment will help children grasp the principles of geometry in later grades.
Go on a "shape hunt". Have your child look for as many circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles as he or she can find in the home or outside. Do the same with three-dimensional objects like cubes, cones, spheres, and cylinders. Point out that street signs come in different shapes and that a pop can is like a cylinder.
Play "I spy", looking for different shapes. "I spy something that is round." "I spy something that is rectangular." "I spy something that looks like a cone."
- Sphere: A perfectly round object, like a ball, or a globe.
- Cube: A box that has perfect squares for each face, like the famous Rubik's cube
- Cylinder: A round tube with a circle on each end, like an empty toilet paper roll.
- Cone: An object with a circle at the top that gets smaller and smaller until it reaches a point at the bottom, like an ice cream cone.
- Pyramid: An object with triangles for sides, forming a point at the top. The base is usually a square. The Pyramids of Egypt are a famous example.
- Rectangular Prism: A box that is not a perfect cube. Some of the faces may be rectangles, like a shoebox.
- Triangular Prism: See picture below. Note that the base is rectangular, and the two side faces are triangular