Geometric Shapes – Definition With Examples
Updated on January 8, 2024
In the vibrant universe of mathematics, geometric shapes hold a significant position. They are the foundation upon which our spatial understanding is built, and they form the underlying structure of everything we see and create. They are the essence of mathematics, brought to life through their tangible representations.
At Brighterly, we believe in nurturing a child’s curiosity about the world, and geometric shapes offer a perfect starting point for this journey of exploration. Imagine a world where everything we see, touch, and interact with can be defined and understood through geometric shapes. The roundness of a ball, the symmetry of a snowflake, the square face of a Rubik’s cube – these are all applications of geometric shapes.
Geometric shapes are the fundamental building blocks of the world, and they also serve as essential tools for abstract mathematical thought. They form a bridge between the abstract and the tangible, allowing us to visualize mathematical concepts and apply them to our physical environment.
In this blog post, we will embark on a comprehensive exploration of geometric shapes – their definitions, their types, their properties, and their applications. Whether you are a student, a parent, or an educator, this guide is designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of geometric shapes, brought to you in a manner that is engaging, accessible, and fun – the Brighterly way!
What are Geometric Shapes?
Geometric shapes are fundamental aspects of both abstract mathematical concepts and the physical world around us. They are the figures that result from combining specific amounts of points, lines, and angles. In essence, geometric shapes are the building blocks of the world, helping us understand its structure and layout. Whether it’s the circular moon in the night sky, the triangular roof of a house, or the rectangular layout of a mobile phone screen, geometric shapes are everywhere.
Types of Geometric Shapes
Geometric shapes are broadly categorized into twodimensional (2D) geometric shapes and threedimensional (3D) geometric shapes. As the names suggest, 2D shapes lie flat on a plane and have two dimensions – length and width. In contrast, 3D shapes exist in space, having three dimensions – length, width, and height. The study of these shapes is a fundamental part of mathematics, often introduced early in a child’s education.
TwoDimensional Geometric Shapes
The universe of twodimensional geometric shapes is wide and varied. From simple shapes like squares and circles to more complex polygons such as hexagons and octagons, each shape has its unique properties and characteristics. They serve as the basis for more advanced mathematical concepts, such as area and perimeter, and are applied in diverse fields ranging from architecture to graphic design.
ThreeDimensional Geometric Shapes
Threedimensional geometric shapes, or solids, include cubes, spheres, cylinders, and cones, among others. Each shape possesses a different set of properties, including volume and surface area. Understanding these shapes and their properties is crucial for many fields, including engineering, physics, and computer graphics.
List and Properties of Geometric Shapes
Let’s delve into the details of some commonly known geometric shapes:
Triangle
A triangle is a polygon with three sides and three angles. Depending on the length of its sides, a triangle can be classified as equilateral, isosceles, or scalene. Triangles also vary based on their internal angles, with acute, obtuse, and right triangles being the main types.
Circle
A circle is a closed shape with all points at a fixed distance, called the radius, from a central point. Key properties include the diameter (twice the radius) and the circumference (the boundary of the circle).
Square
A square is a quadrilateral with all sides of equal length and four right angles. It’s a special type of rectangle and has properties like area (side length squared) and perimeter (four times the side length).
Rectangle
A rectangle is another type of quadrilateral, characterized by having four right angles. Its sides can be of different lengths, and its primary properties are the area (length times width) and the perimeter (twice the sum of length and width).
Parallelogram
A parallelogram is a foursided figure with opposite sides parallel and equal in length. It has properties similar to rectangles, but its angles are not necessarily right angles.
Polygons
Polygons are closed, twodimensional shapes with straight sides. They include triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and so forth. The properties of polygons vary widely depending on their number of sides and internal angles.
Figures of 2D Shapes
Figures of 2D shapes, also known as plane figures, are the shapes that can be drawn on a plane surface. These include all the shapes mentioned above and many others, like ellipses, trapezoids, and more complex polygons.
ThreeDimensional Shapes
In the realm of threedimensional shapes, also known as solids or 3D figures, we encounter forms like the cube, cylinder, sphere, and cone. Each of these shapes occupies space and has three dimensions – length, width, and height.
Cube
A cube is a sixfaced, threedimensional shape where all faces are squares of equal size, and all edges are of equal length.
Cylinder
A cylinder has two identical circular bases and a curved surface connecting the bases. It’s as if you stretched a circle along a third dimension.
Sphere
A sphere is a perfectly symmetrical, threedimensional geometric shape. Every point on the surface of a sphere is an equal distance from its center, much like how every point on the edge of a circle is equidistant from the circle’s center.
Cone
A cone has a circular base, and a single curved surface that tapers to a point, called the vertex or apex.
Open and Closed Figures
Geometric shapes can also be classified as open or closed figures. An open figure starts at one point and ends at a different point. In contrast, a closed figure starts and ends at the same point, creating a complete enclosure.
Closed Shapes
Closed shapes are those that form a complete loop, having no beginning or end. Examples include circles, squares, and triangles. These shapes are significant because they form the basis for defining areas and perimeters.
Open Shapes
Open shapes, on the other hand, do not form a complete loop. They have distinct starting and ending points. Lines, arcs, and curves are examples of open shapes.
Solved Examples on Geometric Shapes
It’s often easier to understand the properties and characteristics of geometric shapes by looking at solved examples. For instance, consider a rectangle with a length of 7 units and a width of 3 units. The area of this rectangle would be 21 square units (7 units * 3 units), and its perimeter would be 20 units (2*(7 units + 3 units)).
Practice Problems on Geometric Shapes
Practice problems are the key to mastering geometric shapes. Try finding the area and perimeter of various shapes. Challenge yourself with more complex problems, like finding the volume of a cylinder or the surface area of a sphere.
Conclusion
Geometric shapes are much more than just academic concepts found in textbooks – they are the language through which the universe communicates its structure and patterns. They are the framework that holds our world together, the blueprint that nature follows to create its diverse forms and patterns.
At Brighterly, our mission is to illuminate the joy and wonder of learning, and we believe that understanding geometric shapes is a critical step in this journey. As we explore the world of geometric shapes, we uncover the beauty and harmony that underlie the world around us. We gain a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of design, the balance of architecture, and the harmony of nature.
As parents and educators, it’s crucial that we foster a child’s curiosity about shapes and their properties. Encourage them to see the geometric forms in the world around them – in the buildings they see, the toys they play with, and even the food they eat. Inspire them to ask questions, seek answers, and cultivate a love for learning.
Through geometric shapes, we not only learn about mathematics, we learn to see the world from a new perspective. We discover a universe of possibilities, where every shape tells a story, every angle holds a secret, and every line leads to a new adventure.
In the end, understanding geometric shapes isn’t just about learning math, it’s about embracing a way of thinking – a way that encourages curiosity, fosters creativity, and sparks the imagination. This is what we strive for at Brighterly, where every day is a new opportunity to learn, explore, and shine brighter!
Frequently Asked Questions on Geometric Shapes
Here at Brighterly, we often encounter a host of intriguing questions about geometric shapes. In this section, we’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions, offering indepth answers to satisfy your curiosity.
What’s the difference between 2D and 3D shapes?
Twodimensional (2D) and threedimensional (3D) shapes are distinguished by the number of dimensions they possess. A 2D shape exists on a plane and has two dimensions – length and width. Examples include circles, squares, and triangles. These shapes are flat and can be measured in only two directions.
On the other hand, 3D shapes exist in space and have three dimensions – length, width, and height. Examples include cubes, spheres, and cylinders. These shapes are solid objects that have depth in addition to length and width.
How are geometric shapes used in real life?
Geometric shapes are everywhere in our daily lives. They’re the basis of many practical areas such as architecture, design, engineering, and even art. For example, an architect might use geometric shapes to design a building, while an artist might use them to create a piece of artwork. In engineering, geometric shapes are crucial in designing and manufacturing various products and structures.
Additionally, understanding geometric shapes can enhance everyday skills. For instance, recognizing shapes can help a child follow instructions for a board game, assemble a toy, or organize their room by stacking blocks or arranging books on a shelf.
Why is it important to learn about geometric shapes?
Learning about geometric shapes aids in developing spatial reasoning skills. It helps children understand the world around them, as shapes are integral to recognizing and interpreting symbols and patterns in everything from traffic signs to artwork.
Moreover, geometric shapes serve as the foundation for more complex mathematical concepts. Understanding them can facilitate learning about area, volume, angles, and other geometry topics. Therefore, mastering geometric shapes can boost problemsolving abilities and critical thinking, skills that are applicable in many areas of life, from academics to realworld situations.
How can I make learning geometric shapes fun for my child?
At Brighterly, we believe that learning is most effective when it’s engaging and enjoyable. Here are a few fun ways to teach geometric shapes:

Shape Hunt: Turn the learning process into an exciting game by having a ‘shape hunt’ around the house or in a park. Ask your child to find objects that correspond to specific shapes.

Craft Projects: Use shapes in art and craft projects. For instance, your child can create a collage of cutout geometric shapes or build 3D models using clay or building blocks.

Interactive Learning Tools: Use Brighterly’s interactive learning resources that are designed to make the learning process fun and effective. Our resources include games, puzzles, and animated lessons that bring geometric shapes to life.
Remember, the goal is to inspire curiosity and foster a love for learning. The more interactive and engaging the learning process, the more your child will enjoy and retain the knowledge.
How can understanding geometric shapes improve problemsolving skills?
Problemsolving is all about identifying patterns and applying logical reasoning, and understanding geometric shapes can significantly aid in this process. For instance, geometric shapes can help in visualizing problems, breaking them down into manageable parts, and finding logical solutions.
Whether it’s determining the shortest route between two points (a line), understanding the concept of symmetry (reflection of shapes), or solving complex puzzles, geometric shapes provide a visual and tangible way to approach problemsolving.
Can learning about geometric shapes help in other subjects?
Absolutely! Learning about geometric shapes is not limited to mathematics. It can help in various other subjects and areas of learning:

Art: Understanding shapes is crucial in drawing, design, and sculpture. Recognizing and manipulating shapes can help students create and appreciate art.

Science: Many scientific concepts involve shapes. For example, understanding the spherical shape of planets or the cylindrical shape of a test tube can enhance understanding in astronomy and chemistry, respectively.

Engineering & Architecture: From designing structures to understanding stress and strain on materials, geometric shapes play a significant role in these fields.

Coding & Robotics: Geometry, including shapes, is fundamental to programming movements in robotics and designing graphics in coding.
As you can see, geometric shapes form a foundational concept that extends far beyond the realm of mathematics.
At Brighterly, our goal is to make learning an enjoyable journey, sparking curiosity and fostering a lifelong love for learning. We believe that understanding geometric shapes is a vital step in this journey, opening a world of possibilities for exploration, creativity, and problemsolving. Let’s help our children shine brighter with every shape they discover!
Information Sources
This article was created with information from reliable sources including: