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Help with 3D shapes - What do they need to know in reception?

(7 Posts)
sashangel Wed 05-Feb-14 23:19:08

My daughter (in reception) was off school two weeks ago poorly. They sent the homework she should have had that week on Monday and it was completed that night. It was still in her bag this evening when I checked so gave it to the teacher. At this point she then told me that DD had missed out on learning about 3D shapes (sphere, cube, cuboid, pyramid, cylinder and cone) she then asked me to do work with her at home as she has some assessment or something this week (didn't give a day). Problem is she didn't give me more information about what she wanted me to work on. Does she just need to know what they are called and what they look like? What are the assessments? What happens if she fails? I didn't get to ask any more questions as she had another parent wanting to speak with her and I won't get to see her tomorrow evening because she has physio on a Thursday afternoon. I have just got in from work so have missed the night with DD working on them.

Please help. Thanks

Paddlinglikehell Wed 05-Feb-14 23:36:47

Stop stressing, it is all very basic and all the assessment will be is to check her understanding. Ideally she needs to recognise them.

Try finding things around the home that are are cube, sphere etc.

e.g. get a baked bean can and tell her that the shape is a cylinder and then go on a hunt for anything else in the house that is a cylinder, repeating the word each time, things like toilet roll, smarties tube, baked bean can.

Do the same for sphere etc.

It doesn't have to be sit down and look a pictures, make it fun and when you have found a few things, put them into groups, all the cubes together, all the cylinders. Good luck with the Pyramid!!!!

grassroots Thu 06-Feb-14 08:08:26

We found getting the playdough out helped too - actually making the shapes seems to work well, especially when it comes to remembering the names.

PastSellByDate Thu 06-Feb-14 11:20:11


We had a great homework for DD2 where she had those shapes:

sphere, cone, cuboid, pyramid & cylinder

and we went around the house finding those shapes

sphere: football, tennis ball, plastic balls, little top of kitchen roll holder, etc...

cone: ice cream cones, paper cone with chips (Dad had a snack on way home)

cuboid: foot rest, z-bed, sofa, dice

pyramid: tea bag (of course), but also had a toy pyramid from a game

cylinder: toilet roll, wrapping paper roll, kitchen towel roll, bar of kitchen roll holder, etc...

BBC learning zone has a video on 2D shapes as well:

Sesame Street has a little video on 2D shapes:

BBC learning zone has a 3D shape song:

Another 3D shape song (well rap) here:

Sesame street has this nice booklet about maths is everywhere - which is intended for 3-5 year olds:

Hope that helps.

Meita Thu 06-Feb-14 11:32:33

You can then, if you want to, help her observe and describe the properties of those 3d shapes. Such as, a cone has one flat surface (which is the shape of a circle), one curved surface, and one pointy end. A cuboid has 6 surfaces, each the shape of a rectangle, and 8 corners. You can for instance put the 3d shape on a piece of paper and trace around it: A cylinder would result in a circle.
You can also discuss which 3d shapes are stackable and which of them roll. Some can do both, depending on which way round you put them. Best to try it out in practice.
However I believe these aspects of 3d objects are strictly speaking Y1 curriculum. But if you are on a roll, there is nothing stopping you from introducing some of that now.
Have fun rolling around and stacking your tins of baked beans! smile

sashangel Thu 06-Feb-14 15:03:13

Thanks for your help.

I asked a TA this morning about what she needs to know and it was knowing what the shape was, how many sides and the vertices.

I have managed to find a few leaning bits on a website and have now stuck them round the house for her to find and will go over them with her one at a time. Then have a hunt if we can find anything of that shape. The playdoh is a great idea.

I think she pretty much knows them all anyway but it was the fact the teacher didn't tell me about this 2 weeks ago when I asked if there was anything she had missed :-(

richmal Fri 07-Feb-14 08:10:43

You can get printable nets for 3D shapes at

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