Learning the proper term for solid shapes at an early age gives your child a head start in geometry.  It’s very simple to teach them some proper names.

  1. Call a can a cylinder.
  2. Call dice or square boxes a cube.
  3. A CD case or a cereal box is a rectangular prism.
  4. A  ball or a globe is a sphere.
  5. A cone shape at the primary level is just like an ice cream cone.
  6. A pyramid can easily be shown to a child courtesy of almost any book on ancient Egypt.

If you use the objects proper name and then its “household” name interchangeably, children can learn about a variety of 3D solid shapes before they enter kindergarten.

To take this lesson to the next level, talk about the number of sides (faces) of a shape, the number of corners (vertices) and what shapes have common attributes.  Does it roll?  Can you slide it?  What shape appears if you trace around the bottom of it with a pencil.