I firmly believe that if you want children to learn something, the best way to do it is to engage their interest through hands-on exploration of the materials.
With that belief in mind, I provided my children an opportunity to do some hands-on exploration with geometric solids as a way to learn 3-D shapes.
Note: For more playful ways to learn about shapes, see my teaching shapes to kids page.
We own a set of folding geometric shapes from Learning Resources that we used for our hands-on exploration.
We took the shapes out of the box and removed the folding inserts from the plastic forms. My kids immediately went to our Spielgaben set to fill the plastic forms with smaller, wooden geometric shapes.
Although we didn’t get around to it this time, for future exploration we will fill the geometric shapes with rice or beans to measure and compare the volume of each geometric shape.
While the kids were busy filling their shapes, I spread the foldable forms out on the ground.
After the kids emptied the items out of their geometric shapes, I invited them to match each plastic form with the foldable form that fit inside it.
My kids’ favorite stuffies wanted to participate as well. 🙂
Then I invited my kids to fold the forms and insert them into plastic shapes to check to see if they matched them correctly.
This provided us with an opportunity to talk about the shapes that make up the 3-D geometric form.
For example, while putting the foldable form back into the cube, my son was able to notice that a cube is made up of six squares.
Want to try these hands-on explorations at home or in your classroom? Grab a set of Learning Resources folding geometric shapes so you can get started!
Looking for more hands-on activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)? Then you’ll love STEAM Kids! This book features 52 hands-on activities are helpfully identified by category (science / technology / engineering / art / math) so you know exactly what skills your kids are developing.
More resources for learning shapes
More shapes posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- 3-D shapes graphing game
- Put the clothes on the 3-D shapes
- Exploring 3-D shapes through play
- 3-D color cube puzzle
- 20 ideas for teaching shapes
- Trace the shapes art and fine motor activity
- How many ways to make a shape?