# 2D And 3D Shapes And Their Properties: Explained For Primary School Teachers, Parents And Kids

**Here we provide a summary of the 2D shapes and 3D shapes covered in the maths curriculum at primary school with a specific focus on the properties of shapes that teachers and parents can support children to learn and understand.**

For a more in-depth look at shapes, then the following articles are recommended:

- What Are 2D Shapes And Which 2D Shapes Do Kids Learn At Primary School?
- What Are 3D Shapes And Which 3D Shapes Do Kids Learn At Primary School?
- Regular And Irregular Shapes

### What are the properties of 2D shapes?

2D shapes have two dimensions, such as width and height. We will go into more detail classifying these below.

### What are the properties of 3D shapes?

3D shapes have three dimensions, such as width, height and depth. We will go into more detail classifying these below.

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### When will children learn about the properties of 2D and 3D shapes?

Here’s what the National Curriculum expects to be taught about the properties of shapes, separated by key stage:

KS1 children should be able to:

*Develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary.*

Lower KS2 children should be able to:

*Draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them.*

Upper KS2 children should be able to:

*Classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.*

Read more about sorting shapes: What Is A Carroll Diagram?

Below are some of the shapes children will need to know, including their properties, such as the number of sides.

### Properties of 2D shapes

#### Circles

- A semi-circle has 2 sides; 1 curved side and 1 straight side. The full arc is a 180° angle.

#### Triangles (3-sided shapes)

- An equilateral triangle is a regular triangle and each angle equals 60°.
- A right-angled triangle is any triangle with one right angle.
- A scalene triangle is an irregular triangle. All sides and angles are different.
- An isosceles triangle has two sides and two angles that are the same.

#### Quadrilaterals (4-sided shapes)

- A square is a regular quadrilateral and each angle equals 90°.
- A kite has two pairs of equal-length sides and the diagonals cross at right-angles.
- A rectangle has two pairs of parallel straight lines and each angle equals 90°.
- A rhombus has two pairs of parallel lines, as well as equal sides and opposite equal angles.
- A trapezium has one pair of parallel lines.
- A parallelogram has two pairs of parallel lines and opposite equal angles.

#### Polygons

- A pentagon is any shape with 5 sides. The interior angles add up to 540°.
- A hexagon is any shape with 6 sides. The interior angles add up to 720°.
- A heptagon or septagon is any shape with 7 sides. The interior angles add up to 900°.
- An octagon is any shape with 8 sides. The interior angles add up to 1080°.
- A nonagon is any shape with 9 sides. The interior angles add up to 1260°.
- A decagon is any shape with 10 sides. The interior angles add up to 1440°.

### Properties of 3D shapes

- A sphere has 1 curved surface.
- A hemisphere has 1 face, 1 curved surface and 1 edge.
- A cone has 1 face, 1 curved surface, 1 edge and 1 vertex.
- A tetrahedron, or triangular-based pyramid, has 4 faces, 6 edges and 4 vertices.
- A square-based pyramid has 5 faces, 8 edges and 5 vertices.
- A cylinder has 2 faces, 1 curved surface and 2 edges.

#### Prisms

- A triangular prism has 5 faces, 9 edges and 6 vertices.
- A cube has 6 faces, 12 edges and 8 vertices.
- A cuboid has 6 faces, 12 edges and 8 vertices.
- A pentagonal prism has 7 faces, 15 edges and 10 vertices.
- A hexagonal prism has 8 faces, 18 edges and 12 vertices.

### Properties of shapes questions

Put your children’s problem solving to the test!

**1. Which of these shapes is a pentagon?**

*(Answer: Bottom left)*

**2. Which shape has exactly 5 faces?**

*(Answer: D)*

**3. These two shaded triangles are each inside a regular hexagon. In each hexagon, is the triangle an equilateral, isosceles or scalene?**

*(Answer: 1st = isosceles / 2nd = scalene)*

**4. Here is a drawing of a 3D shape.**

Complete the table.

*(Answer: Faces = 6 / Vertices = 8 / Edges = 12)*

**5. Is this rhombus a regular quadrilateral? Explain how you know.**

*(Answer: No – not all angles are the same)*

### Properties of shapes worksheets

Use these related worksheets for an interactive approach to shapes in the classroom, including real life examples and everyday objects!

- Year 2 Independent Recap – Properties of 2D Shapes Worksheet
- Year 2 Independent Recap – Properties of 3D Shapes Worksheet
- Year 5 Ready-to-go Lesson Slides – Properties of Shape Worksheet

**Wondering about how to explain other key maths vocabulary to your children? Check out our Primary Maths Dictionary For Kids**.

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