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Basics on the topic Cubes

In this video on cube geometry…

Nico and Nia see a shape storm that rains cubes. Except, Nico doesn’t know what it is. So he wonders ‘what is a cube in maths?’ Join in to learn all about cubes!

Cube (maths) explanation & example

You may wonder what is the shape- cubes? Well, a cube in maths is a 3D shape that has specific properties.

The properties of a cube are:

  • Six square faces
  • Eight vertices, or corners
  • Twelve edges


Therefore, a cube in geometry is a 3-D shape that has six square faces, eight vertices, and twelve edges.

Cubes (3D shape)- Further practice

Underneath, you will find a 3D cubes worksheet, where you can practise identifying if a shape is a cube or not based on the properties you have learnt. As well as this, have a go at our interactive exercises and activities.

Transcript Cubes

"Hey Nia, do you hear that?"

Uh oh, it looks like there is a shape storm happening! "Woooaaaaah! This is new!"

"I wonder what this shape is?" Let's join Nico and Nia as they learn all about "Cubes". A cube is a 3-D shape. A 3-D shape is a solid figure that has three dimensions: length, width, and height. 3-D shapes are NOT flat like 2-D shapes.

3-D shapes can be identified by their properties. These are features a shape MUST have to be called that shape.

Let's take a look at the properties of a cube. A cube has SIX faces, which are ALL square in shape.

A cube also has EIGHT vertices or corners! Finally, a cube has TWELVE edges, which is where two faces meet. A shape must have ALL three of these properties to be classified as a cube. A cube can also have other features. A cube MAY be different colours. A cube MAY be different sizes. A cube MAY have different orientations, or be turned differently. The colour, size and orientation of a cube CAN change, and the shape will STILL be a cube as long as it has all of the correct properties. To identify cubes, we look for the properties that do NOT change. Let's practice identifying cubes! Is this a cube? First, count the square FACES. One, two, three, four, five, six! There are SIX square faces. It might be a cube! Now count the VERTICES. There are EIGHT vertices. It might still be a cube! Finally, count the EDGES. There are TWELVE edges. Since ALL of the properties of a cube are present, this IS a cube!

Let's look at this shape. Is this a cube? Start by counting the FACES. One, two, three, four, five. Since a cube MUST have six square faces, this is NOT a cube! Is this a cube?

This IS a cube because there are SIX square faces, EIGHT vertices, and TWELVE edges! Even though the two cubes we saw are different colours, different sizes, and have different orientations from each other, they are still cubes because they both have all of the PROPERTIES of a cube! Before we see what Nico and Nia are up to in the shape storm, let's review! Remember, a cube may have features such as a different colour, a different size, or a different orientation, but still be a cube. In order to be classified as a cube, it must have ALL of the following properties: SIX square faces, EIGHT vertices, and TWELVE edges!

"Huh?!" "We should close the window!"

Cubes exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Cubes.
  • Which shape is a cube?


    Remember that a cube has 6 faces.

    Remember that a cube has 8 vertices.

    Every face on a cube is a square shape.

    You might not be able to see all of the vertices and faces of the shape at once.


    The cube is shown here with a tick. It has 6 faces, 8 vertices and 12 edges. Each of its faces is a square shape.

    The other 3D shapes are not cubes.

  • Label the parts of the cube.


    An edge is where two faces meet.

    A vertex is the singular of vertices. A vertex is where 3 or more edges meet.

    The face of a shape is the flat part; it can be all kinds of shapes, such as a triangle, a square or a circle.


    The cube can be labelled with:

    • The face - the flat, square shape that can be seen when looking at the shape. There are 6 faces on a cube.
    • The edge - where two faces meet. There are 12 edges on a cube.
    • The vertex - where three or more edges meet. There are 8 vertices on a cube.

  • Defining and non-defining characteristics of a cube.


    These are all cubes, although some of their non-defining characteristics have changed.

    What do all cubes have? These are their defining characteristics.


    4 of the attributes are defining and 3 are non-defining as shown by this image.

  • What defines a cube?


    The red line here shows one edge of the cube, where two faces meet.

    This cube has the vertices marked by pink dots.


    These are the defining properties of a cube:

    Face shape: Square

    Number of faces: 6

    Number of vertices: 8

    Number of edges: 12

    Other factors, such as shape, size and colour can vary.

  • A shape storm.


    There are 4 cubes to find.

    Remember, a cube has 6 faces, 8 vertices and 12 edges.

    A cube is a three dimensional (3D) shape.

    You might not be able to see all of the vertices and faces of the shape at once.


    There are 4 cubes shown, highlighted yellow here.

  • Cube net


    Think about how many faces a cube has. There should be this many flat shapes within the net.

    What shape is every face of a cube? Check that each face of the net will be the right shape.


    The correct net for a cube must have 6 square faces, as well as being in the correct layout to fold into a cube.