What are the properties of 2D and 3D shapes? Properties of 2D shapes include details such as its angles and the number of its sides.

For example, here are the properties of a square:

  • A square is the only regular quadrilateral (it has 4 sides of equal length).
  • All its 4 angles are the same (90°).
  • Opposite sides are parallel (same distance from each other, don’t touch or intersect).
  • The diagonals intersect each other at 90°.
  • The diagonals are equal in length.
  • The angles of a quadrilateral add up to 360°.

Angles of 2D shapes are also known as vertices.

3D shapes can be more complex as they involve talking about its vertices, faces and edges. This diagram demonstrates what vertices, faces and edges are:

  • The faces of a shape are the flat parts, one of them is highlighted on the diagram. This cube has 6 faces.
  • The edges of a 3D are the lines where 2 faces meet. So this shape has 12 edges.
  • The vertices are the points of the cube where 2 or more edges meet. This shape has 8 vertices, 5 have been circled in the diagram.

When do children learn about 2D and 3D shapes?

By the end of KS1 children will have learnt about 2D and 3D shapes and should know what a face, edge and corner of a shape is.

To help children with 3D shapes, teachers will often give the children shapes like cubes and cylinders to hold. It is often easier for children to count the edges, faces and vertices of a shape by holding it, rather than counting from a picture they are harder to see.

Children might also make their own 3D shapes out of paper or card by using nets (what a shape looks like when opened out flat). For example, this is the net of a cube:

Teachers will also introduce children to symmetry, by encouraging them to fold paper shapes to find the lines of symmetry.

In KS2 children will progress onto learning about right angles (90°), obtuse angles (between 90° and 180°) and acute angles (less than 90°). This is also when they will learn about parallel lines (as shown in the first diagram above).

How does Learning Street help children with the properties of 2D and 3D shapes?

Children can take a little while to grasp the properties of shapes, especially 3D shapes which is why we cover them in detail in our courses. We introduce the topic then extend learning then revise.

Because our courses are fully structured you never need to worry about covering topics properly. Unlike books we never touch on a topic and then leave it, topics are planned in properly so that learning is extended and revised regularly.

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