Solid Shapes – Definition With Examples

Table of Contents

    In the captivating world of mathematics and geometry, one concept that stands out due to its wide-ranging application and intriguing complexity is the curved line. A curved line, unlike a straight line, bends and twirls, changing its direction at every point on its path. From the graceful arcs of rainbows kids enjoy drawing to the elliptical orbits of planets, the concept of curved lines permeates our daily lives and the cosmos alike.

    At Brighterly, we believe in nurturing curiosity and fostering a love for learning in children. It’s our mission to take complex topics like curved lines and present them in an engaging, understandable way that sparks intrigue in young minds. This article is part of our effort to make mathematics an enjoyable journey for children, taking them on a tour of the fascinating world of curved lines, where they can witness the harmonious dance between the abstract world of numbers and the physical world around us.

    Solid Shapes: Introduction

    Let’s embark on an exciting journey to the world of solid shapes. What’s this realm, you ask? Well, it’s around us every day! The chair you’re sitting on, the ball you kick around, the ice cream cone you enjoy on a summer day, all these are examples of solid shapes. They’re a central part of our lives, playing a crucial role not only in our daily activities but also in advanced mathematics and geometry. Unraveling the secret world of these shapes will not only enhance your knowledge but also provide you with a new perspective to understand and appreciate the world around you. You’ll also be ahead in your mathematics class with Brighterly.

    What are Solid Shapes in Geometry?

    Solid shapes in geometry are three-dimensional figures that have length, breadth, and height. Unlike two-dimensional shapes like squares or circles, which are flat, solid shapes extend in three directions. They possess depth, giving them a form we can hold, touch, and explore in reality. They make up objects we use, admire, and interact with daily, like a football, a skyscraper, or a tiny dice.

    Understanding solid shapes can be thrilling, akin to being an explorer discovering new lands. When we study these shapes, we look at their attributes, such as their faces, edges, and vertices. Every different solid shape has its unique properties, much like every country has its own unique culture and landscape. Let’s dive deeper into the intriguing world of solid shapes!

    Elements of Solid Shapes

    The intriguing attributes of solid shapes, namely faces, edges, and vertices, are like their DNA – unique and distinctive. A face is a flat or curved surface on a solid shape. An edge is a line segment where two faces meet, and a vertex is a point where three or more edges meet. Understanding these elements is like learning a new language, a language that helps us communicate, understand, and design the spatial world around us. And, when you comprehend this language well, you can effectively engage with the incredible field of geometry!

    Solid Shapes and Their Properties

    Now that we have a basic understanding of solid shapes and their elements, we must investigate their individual properties. Every solid shape has a unique set of attributes – this includes their number of faces, edges, vertices, the calculation of their surface area, and their volume. They are like different species in a vast jungle, each carrying their own fascinating traits.

    Types of Solid Shapes

    Our world is filled with an array of solid shapes, each having their own identity. Let’s explore some common types, such as spheres, cylinders, cuboids, cubes, cones, pyramids, and prisms. These are not merely names but are like keys that unlock various secrets of mathematics. Each one of these shapes has its characteristics, formulas, and unique properties that we will delve into.


    A sphere is a perfect example of a solid shape. It’s round, smooth, and doesn’t have edges or vertices. A real-life example? Imagine a perfectly round ball or the Earth (if we overlook its minor irregularities).

    Properties of a Sphere

    Being the smoothest of solid shapes, a sphere is uniquely characterized by its center and radius. Unlike other shapes, it has no edges, no vertices, and only one face, which is curvilinear. All points on the surface of a sphere are equidistant from the center, and this distance is known as the radius of the sphere.

    Surface Area of a Sphere

    The surface area of a sphere is the total area that its surface covers. It’s calculated using the formula 4πr², where r is the radius of the sphere. For example, if the radius of a sphere is 5 units, the surface area will be 4π(5)² or 100π square units.

    Volume of a Sphere

    The volume of a sphere is the amount of space it occupies, and it is given by the formula (4/3)πr³. So, for a sphere with a radius of 5 units, the volume would be (4/3)π(5)³ or 500/3π cubic units.


    Think of a can of your favorite drink, and you have a perfect example of a cylinder. A cylinder is a solid shape with two parallel circular faces (the bases) and one curved face that connects the bases.

    Properties of a Cylinder

    A cylinder has 3 faces, 2 edges, and no vertices. The parallel circular faces are identical in size, and the distance between them is called the height of the cylinder.

    Surface Area of a Cylinder

    The surface area of a cylinder can be found using the formula 2πrh + 2πr², where r is the radius of the base and h is the height of the cylinder.

    Volume of a Cylinder

    The volume of a cylinder is calculated as πr²h. So if we know the radius and height of a cylinder, we can easily find how much space it occupies.


    A cuboid is what most people think of when they hear the term ‘box’. It has six faces, all of which are rectangles, and it has 12 edges and 8 vertices.

    Properties of a Cuboid

    A cuboid is characterized by its length, breadth, and height. All faces are at right angles to each other, and the opposite faces of a cuboid are equal.

    Surface Area of a Cuboid

    The surface area of a cuboid can be found using the formula 2(lb + bh + hl), where l is the length, b is the breadth, and h is the height of the cuboid.

    Volume of a Cuboid

    The volume of a cuboid is calculated by multiplying its length, breadth, and height (lbh). It represents the amount of space that the cuboid occupies.


    A cube is a unique shape in the world of solid shapes. Imagine a perfectly shaped dice, and you have a cube. It’s a special type of cuboid where all faces are square, and all edges are of equal length.

    Properties of a Cube

    A cube has 6 faces, 12 edges, and 8 vertices. All faces of a cube are squares of equal size, and all its edges are of the same length. Moreover, all angles in a cube are right angles, and each face meets its four neighboring faces at equal angles of 90 degrees.

    Surface Area of a Cube

    The surface area of a cube can be determined using the formula 6a², where a is the length of the edge. If the edge of the cube is 4 units, for instance, its surface area will be 6(4)² or 96 square units.

    Volume of a Cube

    The volume of a cube, i.e., the amount of space it occupies, is given by the formula . So, if the edge of a cube measures 4 units, its volume would be or 64 cubic units.


    When you think of a cone, think of an ice cream cone. It’s a solid shape with a circular base and a curved surface that tapers to a point, called the apex or the vertex of the cone.

    Properties of a Cone

    A cone has 1 face, 1 edge, and 1 vertex. The face is a circle (the base of the cone), and the edge is a curved line, forming the curved surface that connects the base with the vertex.

    Surface Area of a Cone

    The surface area of a cone is found using the formula πr(r + l), where r is the radius of the base, and l is the slant height of the cone.

    Volume of a Cone

    The volume of a cone represents the space it occupies and can be calculated by the formula (1/3)πr²h, where r is the radius of the base, and h is the height of the cone.


    A pyramid is a solid shape that has a polygonal base and triangular faces that meet at a common vertex. Picture the famous Egyptian pyramids, and you’ll get an idea of this shape.

    Properties of a Pyramid

    The properties of a pyramid vary depending on the shape of the base. A pyramid always has one face more than the number of sides on the base polygon. It also has as many vertices and edges as the base polygon has sides.

    Surface Area of a Pyramid

    The surface area of a pyramid can be found by adding the area of the base to the sum of the areas of each triangular face. The formula differs depending on the base shape.

    Volume of a Pyramid

    The volume of a pyramid is given by the formula (1/3)Bh, where B is the area of the base, and h is the height of the pyramid.


    A prism is a fascinating solid shape with two identical polygonal bases and rectangular faces that connect corresponding vertices of the bases. Picture a box of cereal, which is an example of a rectangular prism.

    Properties of a Prism

    The properties of a prism depend on the nature of the bases. However, all prisms have an equal number of faces, vertices, and edges as the polygon of the bases. For instance, a triangular prism has 5 faces, 9 edges, and 6 vertices.

    Surface Area of a Prism

    The surface area of a prism is calculated by adding the areas of its bases to the areas of its rectangular faces. It is generally given by the formula 2B + Ph, where B is the area of a base, P is the perimeter of a base, and h is the height of the prism.

    Volume of a Prism

    The volume of a prism, which represents the amount of space it occupies, is determined by the formula Bh, where B is the area of a base and h is the height of the prism.

    Faces, Edges, and Vertices of Solid Shapes

    Understanding the faces, edges, and vertices of solid shapes is like holding a decoder ring for 3D geometry. These key elements provide a foundation for identifying, classifying, and comparing various solid shapes. Let’s delve deeper into what each of these elements is.

    Faces of Solid Shapes

    In the context of solid shapes, a face is a flat or curved surface. For instance, a cube has 6 square faces, while a sphere has a single curved face.

    Edges of Solid Shapes

    An edge is a line segment where two faces of a solid shape meet. A cuboid, for example, has 12 edges, while a sphere has no edges.

    Vertices of Solid Shapes

    A vertex is a point where three or more edges meet. A cone has one vertex at the tip, while a cylinder has no vertices.

    Practice Problems on Solid Shapes

    1. What is the volume of a cube with an edge of 6 units?
    2. Calculate the surface area of a cylinder with a radius of 4 units and a height of 5 units.
    3. Find the volume of a cone with a base radius of 3 units and a height of 7 units.
    4. If a rectangular prism has a length of 4 units, a width of 3 units, and a height of 2 units, what is its surface area?


    As we reach the conclusion of this exploration into the world of solid shapes, we hope your child’s understanding of 3D shapes and their properties has expanded. The beauty of mathematics lies not just in the realm of numbers but also in the visual, tangible world of geometry.

    Here at Brighterly, we believe that by exploring these mathematical concepts in a fun, engaging, and accessible way, we can inspire a lifelong love for learning. And we understand that every child is unique, which is why we strive to create resources that are tailored to meet different learning styles.

    Remember, mastering solid shapes is not a one-day affair. So, keep revisiting these concepts, practice with the problems provided, and before you know it, your child will be a whiz in geometry!

    Frequently Asked Questions on Solid Shapes

    What is the difference between 2D shapes and solid shapes?

    2D shapes, or two-dimensional shapes, have length and width, but no thickness. They are flat and can only be measured in two directions, such as a square, a circle, or a triangle. On the other hand, solid shapes are three-dimensional (3D). They have length, width, and height, giving them volume and allowing them to occupy space, like a cube, sphere, or a cylinder.

    Why are vertices important in solid shapes?

    Vertices are where the edges of a shape meet. They are significant because they give us vital information about the structure of a shape. Counting the vertices, along with faces and edges, helps us identify, classify, and describe the solid shape.

    What is the relationship between the faces, edges, and vertices in a cube?

    A cube has 6 faces, 12 edges, and 8 vertices. This corresponds with Euler’s formula for polyhedra, which states that for any convex polyhedron (including a cube), the number of vertices (V) plus the number of faces (F) is equal to the number of edges (E) plus 2. So for a cube, V + F = E + 2 becomes 8 + 6 = 12 + 2, which indeed holds true.

    How is the volume of a sphere calculated?

    The volume of a sphere is given by the formula (4/3)πr³, where r is the radius of the sphere. This formula essentially tells us how much space the sphere occupies.

    What real-world objects are examples of prisms?

    Prisms are everywhere in our world! A book, a box of cereal, a tent, or a Toblerone chocolate bar can be seen as examples of prisms. These everyday objects can help children understand and relate to the concept of prisms in a more practical and enjoyable way.

    Information Sources:
    1. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
    2. MathWorld – Wolfram
    3. National Education Association

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