Kids Geometry: Working with Shapes

Learning how to identify different shapes by name is one of the first steps toward understanding geometry. Later on in school, these concepts will be expanded in all sorts of ways, so it's important to get a handle on shapes as soon as possible. Here are some tips to help you excel in beginning geometry.

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How to Learn about Shapes

Shape Vocabulary

You will likely encounter some strange sounding words in geometry. Here are some important shapes and their definitions:

A series of line segments connected to form a closed shape.
A rhombus has four sides, which makes it a quadrilateral. All four sides are the same length, and rhombuses with right angles are also squares. A rhombus is a diamond shape.
A polygon with six sides is referred to as a hexagon.
A triangle is a 3-sided polygon. You'll find three corners (also called vertexes) in each triangle. Altogether, there are seven types of triangles, including isosceles, right, obtuse, equilateral and acute.
Prefect Square
All the sides of a perfect square are exactly the same length.
An 8-sided polygon. You can think of an octagon as a circle with flat line segments moving in a circular pattern. You see octagons every day when you go to and from school because stop signs are octagons.

Everyday Shapes

Once you start to recognize different geometrical shapes, you'll start to notice them all around you because the world is full of shapes, from circles to squares to triangles. Test your knowledge of shapes by spotting as many as you can in the outside world. Keep a list of all the shapes you spot outside. Which shape was most common? Did you see any shapes that you weren't familiar with?

Shape Races

You can play a game with a friend where you each get a piece of paper listing a variety of shapes and their definitions. Your goal is to find one of each type of shape as you can in ten minutes. Whoever finds the most amount of shapes wins!

Create a Picture

Using construction paper and scissors, cut out a square, triangle, circle, octagon, hexagon and rhombus. Now, try to create a picture using all six shapes. For instance, you could create a dinosaur by using the triangle as its head and the circle as its body. After you finish your picture, be sure to label each shape for extra review.

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