Monday, January 16, 2012

Help! I need ideas for 3D shapes!

I started teaching 3D shapes last week and I need ideas!!!

We have several sets of  plastic and wooden 3D shapes to manipulate and we've cut 3D pictures out of magazines to sort. We're also singing HeidiSongs 3D shapes songs daily . I just printed Penguin Playtime 3D Shape Review from Ketchen's Kindergarten. The majority of my students have caught on very quickly. However, I still have a few that cannot remember the names of the shapes at all. They can tell me characteristics, but have no name recall whatsoever. (Unless it's the 'spear' aka sphere.) Ha!

Ketchen's Kindergarten

I'm looking for activities for the following shapes: cube, cylinder, cone and sphere. 

Please comment with any great ideas, links or products you have that are free or for sale. I would love to support fellow bloggers. :)

Kindergarten -


  1. Well I don't have any TPT products to point you to but I will share what I do. We use Everyday Math at my school. The introduction to 3D shapes is an activity called a Shape Museum. The students and I bring in real life examples of 3D shapes. We talk about the shapes, explore them, then sort them around the room. The kids get "a ticket" to the museum and have a recording sheet where they draw and write the objects in each category. We also have a literature connection: Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes by Stuart J. Murphy. I also do those!

    Growing Up Teaching

  2. May I Anything with food is always fun. Give them a small snack if they can name and describe the shape. I bought Bugles from the Dollar Spot at Target for this. Bubblegum or almost any cereal can be the sphere. You get the drift.

    Here is my link for all things geometry from this summer's book study. This may help too.

  3. Hi Marlana! I've used birthday party hats for cones and toilet paper/paper towel tubes for cylinders...the kids can tape or glue them together to make rockets or other abstract art. I have a post based on this idea that I need to put up, but thought I'd toss it out there when I saw your question. ;) I've also used the TP tubes for bowling--any activity where you can throw the names around constantly helps. ;) Good luck!

  4. Replies
    1. I have done the activity that Jonelle linked you to and my kids LOVED it!!! Anything to get them talking about the shapes and actually saying the names as they hold or feel it. Some of the activities I have done with 3D shapes are categorizing them by the number of sides or faces each has, and whether they roll, slide, or stack. The kids really enjoyed experimenting with this one as they made a ramp to test them out! We have also gathered real-world objects and sorted them.

  5. We also do a shape museum with Every Day Math. Last year I had several young boys who struggled with the 3-D shapes. We finally had a breakthrough when I linked to their "video game schema." Most kids, and particularly boys, know their video games. For cubes and cylinders we used Super Mario Bros. For sphere we used Bakugan. I am fortunate enough to have sons who let bring in some of their toys as examples. We didn't have as much trouble with cones after I brought in sugar cones for a mini ice cream party.
    I know some people have mixed feelings about video games into school, but their real-world background knowledge gave the perfect hook.

    Mrs. Krull
    Of Primary Importance

  6. The 3D shape music video by Harry Kindergarten is terrific! It has a ton of examples of spheres, cylinders, cubes, and cones. You can watch it here or find it on I'm sure your kiddos will master this soon! :)

    The Littlest Scholars

  7. Go to the kindergarten lifestyle blog... Very cute idea... She has a Shape Party... Where the parents give snacks for the various shapes... She has posted the letter to go home to parents with the shape snack ideas

  8. I used the 3d chants I found on! My kiddos and I chant it EVERY DAY and they love it! =)

  9. We also used the 3D shapes music video found on You tube. Its just a few minutes long and the kids really got into it. Then, we asked students to bring back 1 item from home that represented each shape to add to our "shape museum." The kids brought back all sorts of things... party hats, jars, plastic toys, etc. We then displayed all our shapes on a special table in the class for the students to admire while we finished the unit. Cheap and effective! Good Luck!

    Miss S
    Just Teaching

  10. I wanted to make my own chants to start describing 3D shapes, but just hadn't sat down to do it! Thanks for reminding me that it needed to get done! I hope you've gotten some more great ideas since this post! I just gave out 3D glasses to all my kinders who could identify the shapes since I got them for free from a movie store (just the cheapy paper kind - but they were super motivating!)
    - Leslie

    1. I love the idea of giving away 3D glasses when students learn their shapes! I'm going to have to do that next year.

      Lil' Country Kindergarten

  11. Hi Mariana
    Cute blog! Thanks for sharing.
    I have lots of easy & fun 3D-shape stuff on my website.
    Posters, cut & glue easy reader mini-booklets, craft projects.
    Everything on my site is FREE (1,000's of printables.)
    Here's the link to all of the 3D stuff:

  12. Hi, I am also teaching 3-D Shapes. I've done the shape museum as well as the sorting / graphing activities. This week, to continue, I'm doing 3-D shapes out of toothpicks & marshmallows. They can make cubes, cones and cylinders out of these materials. I've also done it with cut up straws and twist ties....the kids LOVE the activity. Good luck!