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When we first introduced 3D shapes into our learning, it quickly became clear that they were much easier to learn and to remember if we started associating the shapes themselves with real 3D objects that we could find around the house.
Things like a roll of paper towels for the cylinder, an empty cardboard box for the cube, and so on and so forth.
So when I started thinking about math printables that I could create to help practice what we’ve been learning, I wanted to find a way to incorporate those real objects in those as well.
The first, and probably the easiest, way we found to do this? By putting together some fun puzzles that help reinforce the fact that objects in our environment are often shapes in disguise.
Within this printable set, you’ll find 8 different 3D shape puzzles including simple shapes like a cone and a sphere, all of the way up to a few more difficult ones like a hexagonal prism.
And using them is super simple! Just print the puzzles out, I suggest using card stock as that will make them a bit more durable and less likely to tear when little hands are tying to put the pieces together, cut the pieces apart, and hand them over to your child.
If you’re looking to make them last a little longer, you can always run them through your laminator before handing them over. I do this with probably 90% of our printables and most have held up for more than a year now.
Of course, if you would like to extend the activity, you can always go beyond just putting the puzzles together as well! For instance, each time we put together one of the puzzles correctly, we then went on a bit of a scavenger hunt around the house to see what objects we could find that matched that shape. A little hint, some are way easier than others but finding them is a ton of fun!