Geometry for Kids: Concepts and Problems

Kids in elementary school learn about 2-D and 3-D shapes, including their characteristics and categories. If your child needs additional help with geometry concepts, you can practice with him or her at home using the following activities and problems.

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What Concepts Will My Child Learn in Geometry?

In early elementary school, students learn to create 2-D and 3-D shapes. They also study the defining features of basic shapes, such as the number of sides and points. For example, a triangle has three sides and three points. To practice at home, you can ask your child to identify shapes in real life; for example, your refrigerator is likely a rectangle, while your kitchen clock may be a circle.

By the middle of elementary school, students learn to calculate the perimeter (the distance around the outside of a 2-D shape) and area (the amount of surface that a 2-D shape covers) of quadrilateral shapes, such as squares. Further geometry studies will teach them to identify lines of symmetry and plot coordinates on a graph.

Geometry also contains many new vocabulary terms for your elementary student, including ray, acute angle, obtuse angle and perpendicular. If your child is struggling to remember these terms, you can have him or her create a math dictionary or use flashcards at home. Knowing the correct terminology can help your child tremendously in class. Imagine trying to understand the teacher's instructions when you don't know the difference between an acute (less than 90 degrees) and obtuse (between 90 and 180 degrees) angle.

Problems and Solutions by Grade Level

First and Second

Circle the defining attributes of a shape: color, sides, points and size.

Color and size are not defining attributes for a shape because they don't provide any information about what the shape is. However, the number of sides, sometimes called faces, and points can help identify a shape.

Draw a shape that has four equal sides and four points.

This problem may be challenging to some students because they have to create their own shape. Because all the sides must be equal, your child should draw a square.


Name three quadrilaterals.

In third grade, students learn how shapes are categorized. Quadrilaterals have four sides and include squares, rhombuses and rectangles.

A rectangle is 7 inches by 3 inches. Find the perimeter and area.

The perimeter is 20 inches because 7 + 7 + 3 + 3 = 20. The area of the square can be calculated like this: 7 x 3 = 21 square inches.


What type of angle does a square have?

A square has four right angles, which means they're all 90 degrees. Another variation of this problem would be to draw a picture of a square and ask your child to identify the parallel lines, perpendicular lines and right angles.


On a graph, plot the following coordinates: (0, 1), (2, 4), (1, 1) and (5, 5).

When plotting coordinates, it's important to know that the first number coincides with the x-axis and the second number coincides with the y-axis. As a result, your child should think of a coordinate like this: (x, y).
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