Cylinder Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

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  • 0:04 A Cylindrical Package
  • 0:31 All About Cylinders
  • 0:46 Volume
  • 1:16 Surface Area
  • 1:44 Wrapping Food & Filling a Jar
  • 2:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Petrovic

Allison has experience teaching high school and college mathematics and has a master's degree in mathematics education.

A pop can, a container of Pringles, and a can of delicious soup all have something in common! They are all in the shape of a cylinder! We will learn all about these shapes in this lesson.

A Cylindrical Package

When's the last time you had some Pringles? Yum! My favorite kind of Pringles are the salt and vinegar ones! You may have noticed that the container that Pringles come in looks different than the packages of other potato chips. Other potato chips come in plastic bags that you can just pull open pretty easily. Pringles, on the other hand, come in a tall round container that has a circular plastic lid. The shape of the container that Pringles come in is called a cylinder. Let's learn some neat things about cylinders.

All About Cylinders

A cylinder is a three-dimensional shape in geometry. A cylinder is round and has a top and bottom in the shape of a circle. The top and bottom are flat and always the same size. I think the best way to describe the shape of a cylinder is to think of a can of soup.

Can of Soup


The volume of a cylinder tells us how much space it has on the inside of it. If you had a can of pop, the volume would be equal to how much pop fills the entire can. The volume equals pi * r2 * h, where r is the radius and h is the height.

In the formula to find the volume of a cylinder, you'll need to know the height and radius of the cylinder. The height is basically how tall it is. The radius is equal to half of the length of the diameter of its circular top or bottom. Remember also that the number pi can be rounded to 3.14.

Volume of a Cylinder

Surface Area

The surface area of a cylinder tells us how much space covers the entire surface of the cylinder. If you were to wrap a can of Pringles with wrapping paper for a birthday gift, the amount of wrapping paper that's used would be equal to the surface area of the Pringles can. The surface area equals 2 * pi * r2 + 2 * pi * r * h where, again, r is the radius and h is the height. To find the surface area of a cylinder, you'll need to know the height and radius of a cylinder.

Surface Area of Cylinder

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