You may remember the 2D hunt we did a few weeks ago with my daughter Rosie and my son Tom (here). Although Rosie identified a few 3D shapes as well, I could tell that the task was more challenging.
So we stepped back a little, waiting to be in a place where it would be easier to start recognizing 3D shapes. The Children’s Museum of Alamance County, NC, was just perfect for that, with the rectangular prisms coming out of the building, an arch made out of large spheres and cubes, etc.
Seeing in a natural environment a large version (much larger!) of the 3D shapes she studied at School seemed like an eye-opening for Rosie. A helpful intermediate step before noticing other 3D shapes, such as the long cylinders, the pyramidal light feature, etc. Your child may need that step as well? You may find a restaurant, a store, a park that could do the trick.
Rosie was also interested in naming the 3D shapes, so we looked them up in a book when we came back home. I know, I could have told her the names of the shapes on the spot, but I am trying to show her that there are places to look for information. Like books. Personally, I like Math On Call (ISBN-10: 0669469238), to check definitions. We took pictures of shapes at the Museum and see if we could find them in the book.
What is interesting with this 2D / 3D hunt is that, letting Rosie explore 3D shapes at her own pace, waiting to have her interest picked before naming them all, looking in a book for names, it truly helped her understand the nomenclature as well : a prism with a rectangle as a base is a rectangular prism, a prism with a triangle base is a triangular prism, etc. She may call a rectangular prism a rectangle prism, or a triangular prism, a triangle prism, but I am OK with that at this point, I can see she knows how it works.
And when, a few days later, we came back to the park we did the 2D hunt, when we saw again the gazebo with the octagon as the bottom cord of the roof, Rosie went a step further. ” Look, an octagon pyramid !”
It was just a question of time.
Have fun looking for 3D shapes !