I let the kids explore 3-D shapes by building, stacking, rolling, etc. Then, together, we create an achor chart. We describe the shapes using both formal and informal language (so the kids can build on their schema) and record the information on the chart. In the beginning, the kids will call spheres "circles" and cubes "squares," but they learn the correct names very quickly. Although I introduce the vocabulary--face, base, point, edge--I do not require my kids to memorize it. We're just building that foundation. We compare the 3-D shapes to their 2-D counterparts and talk a lot about the 2-D shapes we see in the 3-D versions.
Then we think of examples in real life--and this is where the real fun begins! I challenge the kids to go home and find as many examples of 3-D shapes as they can and bring them into school. We create a Kindergarten Shape Museum! We find a very special place in the room and add to the museum as the week progresses. We talk about the objects the kids bring in--What shape is it? How do you know? What do you see