Inspiring to Inspire Maths


Expanding: 3D Shape (Investigating Nets)


cube, cuboid

pyramid, prism

cone, cylinder

edge, face

vertex, vertices

Hints and Tips

What is a Net?

Building on prior knowledge of 3D shapes, your child can now attempt to create the “net” of some 3D shapes.

It is important that your child starts with the base of any shape in the middle of the paper.


Essential Prior Knowledge

Know how to describe a 3D shape using its properties.


Use a variety of 3D shapes, (boxes, tins), different coloured poster paint and paintbrushes.

Ask your child to put paint on the face of the base of your chosen 3D shape and print it onto the middle of a piece of paper.

Now ask your child to put paint on each of the other faces in turn.

Discuss with your child how to decide where to print the faces in relation to the base.

Ask “Is there just one way to print out the net?” Encourage your child to share their thinking.

When the prints are dry your child could cut out the net of the shape he/she has made and folding up the sides try to make the original shape.

This activity is done in a more formal way at Blue Level: Making Nets of Shapes