Geometric shapes are one of the first lessons children learn in geometry class. Not only do they lay the groundwork for further exploration in this area, but it also allows them to more easily identify the shapes that surround them in everyday life, as well as make estimates about a space, distance or volume more easily. In addition, it is an excellent exercise to develop your spatial perception, while training your logical thinking and analytical ability.
From the age of 5 or 6, children are ready to understand what geometric figures are and learn to identify the different basic shapes, although you can begin to familiarize them with geometry through drawings earlier. In the Infant Stage we explain what geometric figures consist of and what the basic shapes are so that you can teach children more easily, at the same time that we offer you some didactic activities that will make your work easier.
What are geometric figures?
Basically, geometric figures are spaces delimited by points, lines or surfaces. In other words, it is about portions of plane or space limited by a kind of “edges”. The most basic geometric figures are the point and the line, but there are also many other forms that come to life when closing a line, be it curved in the case of the circle and the circumference, or straight in the case of polygons.
How are geometric figures classified?
There are various classifications of geometric figures, but the most common is based on their dimensions. According to this classification, there are five main types of geometric figures:
- Dimensionless figure. Basically, it refers to a figure that has no dimension. Within this category is included the point, the minimum and indivisible unit in geometry. It is worth noting that, although the point is dimensionless, it can be located in space through its coordinates.
- Linear figure. These are figures that have only one dimension. Within this type of figures, the straight line and the curve are included, which are nothing more than a line formed by a succession of points in space.
- Flat figure. Plane figures have two dimensions, width and length. This category basically includes polygons such as triangles and quadrilaterals and cones such as the circumference, which are formed by various points and lines.
- Volumetric figure. This type of figures includes shapes with three dimensions: height, width and depth. Unlike flat figures that delimit a physical space on a plane, volumetric figures limit a certain volume in space. Within this category are included the sphere and the cylinder, for example.
- n-dimensional figure. This group includes all geometric shapes that have more than three dimensions . These are much more complex shapes that delimit a certain volume in space and that are made up of infinite points and lines.
What are the main geometric figures? Her CARACTERISTICS
Linear and flat figures are the first that children know since, in addition to being much simpler, they lay the foundation for later learning more complex geometric shapes. These basic shapes include the line, circle, square, rectangle, triangle, ellipse, and rhombus.
- Line. The line is nothing more than a succession of various points in space. There are two main types, the straight line in which the points that make it up go in the same direction and the curved line in which the points change direction.
- Circle. It is one of the main flat geometric figures. Basically, it describes the plane delimited by a circumference, which is nothing more than a flat and closed curved line in which all points are equidistant from the center.
- Triangle. The triangle is a polygon with three sides, whose sides and angles can be equal as in the case of the equilateral triangle or unequal, as for example in the scalene triangles. It can also be the case that it has two equal sides and angles and one unequal, as in the isosceles triangle.
- Square. A square is a type of polygon with four sides. Its main distinction is that all its sides and angles are equal. In this way, in the square the values of width and length coincide.
- Rectangle. This is another type of four-sided polygon, in which all of its angles are equal. However, unlike the square, only the parallel sides are equal, that is, only its even sides are equal.
- Diamond. This is another variety of four-sided polygon, in which its parallel sides are equal. Unlike the rectangle, the rhombus does not have all four equal angles but only the opposite ones.
Three activities to teach geometric figures to the little ones
Teaching children geometric figures does not have to be boring. There are different activities that you can practice at home to exercise basic geometric shapes in a simple and fun way. These are three ideas that facilitate learning.
1. Draw figures
An excellent exercise to familiarize children with geometric shapes is to ask them to draw them on paper. Ideally, start with the simplest figures and work one at a time until they gain skill in drawing. At the beginning and until they master the figures, make it easy for them to work with a model that serves as a pattern, which you can find on the Internet or draw on your own. To add a fun touch to the activity, ask them to color the figure with their favorite color once they finish it.
2. Tell stories
Children love stories, so they will be delighted to hear stories about geometric figures. On the Internet you can find different stories about geometric shapes, but you can also create one at home with the help of children. Choose who or who will be the protagonists, such as Mr. Circle, the young Triangle or Square, and let the kids let their imaginations fly.
3. Shape Detective
A very practical and fun way for children to learn to recognize geometric figures in their environment is to break down objects around them into simple geometric shapes. Ask them, for example, to find all the geometric shapes on their bike or in the doghouse. Once they learn to identify them, they will look for them everywhere.