Transum Maths Software

Three Dimensional Shape Activities

There are 366 different Starters of The Day, many to choose from. You will find in the left column below some starters on the topic of Shape (3D). In the right column below are links to related online activities, videos and teacher resources.

A lesson starter does not have to be on the same topic as the main part of the lesson or the topic of the previous lesson. It is often very useful to revise or explore other concepts by using a starter based on a totally different area of Mathematics.

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Shape (3D) Starters:

Dice Nets: Determine whether the given nets would fold to produce a dice.

Dice Reflections: A dice is reflected in two mirrors. What numbers can be seen?

Faces and Edges: Find the number of faces, edges and vertices on some familiar objects.

Icosahedron: How many triangles are there on the surface of a regular icosahedron.


Small images of these Starters | | |  Complete Index of Starters

Featured Activity

Strategy Games

Strategy Games

We have collected together lots of strategy games for you to enjoy. Many of them have mathematical principles involved in their design so would make a good activity for a Mathematics lesson.


Curriculum for Shape (3D):

Year 5

Pupils should be taught to identify 3-D shapes, including cubes and other cuboids, from 2-D representations more...

Pupils should be taught to estimate volume [for example, using 1 cm3 blocks to build cuboids (including cubes)] and capacity [for example, using water] more...

Year 6

Pupils should be taught to recognise, describe and build simple 3-D shapes, including making nets more...

Pupils should be taught to recognise when it is possible to use formulae for area and volume of shapes more...

Pupils should be taught to calculate, estimate and compare volume of cubes and cuboids using standard units, including cubic centimetres and cubic metres, and extending to other units more...

Years 7 to 9

Pupils should be taught to use the properties of faces, surfaces, edges and vertices of cubes, cuboids, prisms, cylinders, pyramids, cones and spheres to solve problems in 3-D more...

Years 10 and 11

Pupils should be taught to construct and interpret plans and elevations of 3D shapes more...

Pupils should be taught to calculate surface areas and volumes of spheres, pyramids, cones and composite solids more...

Pupils should be taught to apply Pythagoras’ Theorem and trigonometric ratios to find angles and lengths in right-angled triangles {and, where possible, general triangles} in 2 {and 3} dimensional figures more...


Comment recorded on the 16 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs A Milton, Ysgol Ardudwy:

"I have used your starters for 3 years now and would not have a lesson without one! Fantastic way to engage the pupils at the start of a lesson."

Comment recorded on the 28 May 'Starter of the Day' page by L Smith, Colwyn Bay:

"An absolutely brilliant resource. Only recently been discovered but is used daily with all my classes. It is particularly useful when things can be saved for further use. Thank you!"

Comment recorded on the 10 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mike Sendrove, Salt Grammar School, UK.:

"A really useful set of resources - thanks. Is the collection available on CD? Are solutions available?"

Comment recorded on the 9 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Jan, South Canterbury:

"Thank you for sharing such a great resource. I was about to try and get together a bank of starters but time is always required elsewhere, so thank you."

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Fiona Bray, Cams Hill School:

"This is an excellent website. We all often use the starters as the pupils come in the door and get settled as we take the register."

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by S Mirza, Park High School, Colne:

"Very good starters, help pupils settle very well in maths classroom."

Comment recorded on the 28 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Malcolm P, Dorset:

"A set of real life savers!!
Keep it up and thank you!"

Comment recorded on the 2 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Wilshaw, Dunsten Collage,Essex:

"This website was brilliant. My class and I really enjoy doing the activites."

Comment recorded on the 23 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Judy, Chatsmore CHS:

"This triangle starter is excellent. I have used it with all of my ks3 and ks4 classes and they are all totally focused when counting the triangles."

Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by Terry Shaw, Beaulieu Convent School:

"Really good site. Lots of good ideas for starters. Use it most of the time in KS3."


A particular skill is required to be able to excel in this area of Mathematics. Spatial awareness is important for solving multi-step problems that arise in areas such as architecture, engineering, science, art, games, and everyday life. Children have varying abilities visualizing three dimensional relationships but these abilities can be developed through practical activities and working through mathematical problems. Breaking down three dimensional situations into smaller two dimensional parts in an important strategy for problem solving.

See also the "Shape" Starters.

Shape (3D) Teacher Resources:

3D Trigonometry Presentation: A slide presentation (a poem) introducing using trigonometry (including Pythagoras' Theorem) to find lengths and angles on three dimensional shapes.

Cube Construction: This is a simple interactive that does nothing more than allow you to create 3D drawings of models made with cubes.

The Great Dodecahedron: Pupils are not allowed to use their hands to point but must describe fully any shapes they can see in this picture.

Shape (3D) Activities:

Cubical Net Challenge: Find all the ways of painting the faces of cubes using only two colours.

Dice Net Challenge: Drag the numbers onto the net so that when it is folded to form a cube numbers on opposite faces add up to prime numbers.

Faces, Edges and Vertices: Calculate the number of faces, edges and vertices on 3D Shapes.

Net or Not: Drag the nets into the corresponding panels to show whether they would fold to form a cube.

Plans and Elevations: Interpret plans and elevations of three dimensional shapes.

Puzzle Cube Net: A jumbled moving-block puzzle cube is shown as a net. Can you solve it?

Similar Shapes: Questions about the scale factors of lengths, areas and volumes of similar shapes.

Surface Area: Work out the surface areas of the given solid shapes.

Volume: Work out the volumes of the given solid shapes.

Yes No Questions: A game to determine the mathematical item by asking questions that can only be answered yes or no.

Finally there is Topic Test, a set of 10 randomly chosen, multiple choice questions suggested by people from around the world.

Shape (3D) Videos:

Platonic Solids: What are platonic solids and why are there only five of them?

Tetrahedron and Pyramid: A tetrahedron and a pyramid have edges of equal length. If they are glued together on a triangular face with the vertices aligned, how many faces will the new shape have?

Shape (3D) Worksheets/Printables:

Cube Calendar Nets: Printable nets for a desk calendar which show the day of the month.

Dodecahedron Calendar: The net of a dodecahedron with this year's calendar printed on its faces.

Net or Not Printable: A printable series of sheets to support the 'Not or Not' challenges and Starter.

Shape (3D) External Links:

Links to other websites containing resources for Shape (3D) are provided for those logged into 'Transum Mathematics'. Subscribing also opens up the opportunity for you to add your own links to this panel. You can sign up using one of the buttons below:


The activity you are looking for may have been classified in a different way from the way you were expecting. You can search the whole of Transum Maths by using the box below.






Is there anything you would have a regular use for that we don't feature here? Please let us know.

Recently Updated

Circle Theorems Exercise

Circle Theorems Exercise

Show that you understand and can apply the circle theorems with this self marking exercise. So far this activity has been accessed 6868 times and 558 people have earned a Transum Trophy for completing it.



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