Teaching difficult measurement concepts to kids can be challenging. There are so many different units of measurement and different ways we can measure things.
Combine these challenges with introducing the concept of measurement and you’ve got an “immeasurable” task in front of you.
Luckily, there are plenty of fun ideas for teaching measurement available right here.
1. Estimating the Circumference of an Apple
Visual discrimination plays a vital role in measurement. Using a piece of string, some scissors, and an apple, your child can learn how to estimate.
This is a great activity to include in an apple-themed learning unit.
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2. Using a Ruler to Measure the Length of Sticks
Before your child outgrows the allure of sticks, use them as a measurement learning tool.
You can ready your child for this activity by first having them compare the length of 2 sticks. After they have practiced estimating between lengths visually, it’s onto measuring them with a ruler.
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3. Measurement Hunt
This is a really fun measurement activity that can be adapted to all different systems and types of measurement.
It’s also adaptable to different age groups. Bonus points that it comes with a FREE printable.
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4. Using a Scale to Compare Weights
Small children’s scales are inexpensive and quite useful for teaching kids how to measure different weights.
Kids can gather any object that fits on the scale and compare it to another item.
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5. Measuring with Kind Hands
This is a sweet and creative activity that combines social-emotional learning with math skills.
Kids learn to measure in non-standard units, while also learning kindness and empathy.
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Cooking activities, like baking, provide ample opportunities for teaching measurement to kids.
From measuring out the ingredients to practicing estimation skills, there are plenty of measurement opportunities with each of the recipes linked below.
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7. Measuring with Magna-Tiles
Magna-Tiles are an open-ended toy that has endless STEM opportunities. The uniform size and shape of the small square Magna-Tile are perfect for teaching measurement to kids.
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8. Frog Jump and Measure
This is a fun activity for teaching measurement to kids that incorporates gross motor skills.
It’s also a neat activity to do along with a frog life-cycle unit.
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9. Measurement Clip Cards
This measurement activity for kids has a fun fine motor element with it.
All you need for this activity is some clothespins, laminating paper, a ruler, and these very neat printable cards.
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10. Sizing Up Dinosaurs
Kids love dinosaurs. Their size alone gets children’s imaginative juices flowing.
This activity helps children understand just how big some of these giant beasts were compared to humans.
Learn More: PBS
11. Measuring the Height of Stuffed Animals
Measuring the height of stuffed animals is a fun and easy way to introduce standard units of measurement to kids.
It also gives children the opportunity to compare the heights of different dolls and stuffed animals.
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12. Exploring Measuring Tools
Giving children the freedom and opportunity to explore basic measurement tools is a great way to pique a child’s interest in learning about measurement.
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13. Outdoor Size Hunt
Kids love playing outdoors. So, why not use it as an opportunity to teach them about measurement.
You can give them a ruler for standard unit measurement or they simply use their arms or fingers to measure distances between objects.
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14. Measurement Activity Center
Creating a measurement activity center is a great way to get kids interested in learning how to measure.
Set up a table, complete with the tools they need for measurement, and they can explore and measure all on their own.
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15. Printable Measurement Activities
Printables are a fantastic way of teaching measurement to kids. Kids can use a ruler to measure the pictures on these printables or they can use other items like paper clips or mini-erasers.
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16. Capacity and Volume Activities
Understanding capacity and volume can be a challenge for kids. This is because it’s a bit of an abstract concept.
This science experiment puts kids on the road to a better understanding of volume and capacity.
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17. Heavy or Light Activities
Teaching kids to measure weight starts with differentiating the weight of different items through their senses.
These heavy or light activities are all so much fun and a great introduction to the concept of weight.
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18. Inches are a Cinch
Non-standard measurement can be a lot of fun for kids to use. Standard units can, too!
This measurement activity for kids teaches them specifically about inches.
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19. Volume Measurement Flashcards
After kids have experience in measuring using real-life items, it’s time to introduce measurement in a more abstract way.
These volume measurement flashcards are a perfect abstraction and they are free.
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20. The Really Big Dinosaur Measurement Activity
This is a measurement activity inspired by the book, The Really Big Dinosaur.
In this activity, children get to draw a dinosaur, predict how many blocks tall it will be, then test out their prediction by measuring it in blocks.
Learn More: Learning 4 Kids
21. Exploring Capacity
The idea that a tall, slim cup can contain the same amount of water as a short, wide cup is a difficult concept for kids to understand.
Hands-on exploration is the best way for children to learn about capacity.
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22. Measuring Perimeters with Chocolate Kisses
Anything can be a non-standard unit of measurement. Even chocolate!
Measuring perimeters with chocolate Hershey’s Kisses is a great activity to include in your Valentine’s-themed learning unit.
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23. Big and Small Measurement Sort
Creating a big and small measurement sorting activity is a lot of fun for kids in their early years. It teaches them how to classify things by size.
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As you can see, teaching kids about measurement doesn’t have to be a chore. There are many fun ways to go about it.
How do you incorporate ideas for teaching measurement into your child’s day?
Frequently Asked Questions
What tools can you use to measure?
Any everyday object can be considered a non-standard unit of measurement. As long as you use the same item or method to compare the measurement of two objects, you’re good to go.
What are the ways to teach children about measurement?
You can use any of the methods listed in this article or take the general concepts and come up with ideas of your own.
What should I do with my children’s measuring tools?
Your child’s measuring tools should be kept where they can be found easily and accessed (if safe) by your child. This way they can choose to measure things at a whim, which can keep their enjoyment of math and measurement going strong.