Measurement

Exploring Capacity
 

Materials: Containers of different shapes and sizes, water or a dry measuring item 

  1. Gather containers and talk about different shapes and sizes.
  2. Make predictions with your child about which ones will hold more or less than another and which one will hold the most or the least.
  3. Confirm your predictions by filling one container to the top, then transferring into another container. Did it all fit? Is there room left over? Discuss which container holds more.

Make it more challenging:

  • Use measuring cups to figure out the exact capacity and label each container.
  • Discuss how many units of one container could fit into another container. (ex. 2 small containers = 1 medium container)

Use Your Feet

Materials: colorful paper, marker or pen, objects to measure, scissors (optional)

  1. Trace your child's footprint on a piece of paper. Have child cut it out (optional).
  2. Select various objects to measure from around your home.
  3. Use the footprint outline to measure objects and determine how many "feet" long is each object.
  4. Record answers and discuss what child notices.
  5. Repeat with other family member's footprints. Compare the results and discuss.

Make it more challenging:

  • Order and compare footprints. Make predictions about whether it will take more feet or fewer feet to measure an object based on the foot size.
  • Sort objects into groups that are larger than one foot, smaller and the same size.
  • Compare each footprint to an actual ruler.  Discuss the origins of the standard unit of measurement for one foot. Click here to learn more.

How many paperclips?

Materials: various objects to measure, large paperclips and/or small paperclips

  1. Select various objects to measure from around your home.
  2. Ask, "How many paperclips long do you think this will be?"
  3. Child lays paperclips in a line next to the length of the object.
  4. Record answers and discuss what child notices.
  5. Repeat with different sized paperclips.

Make it more challenging:

  • Measure length and width of an object to determine area or perimeter.
  • Find the length of larger objects, such as the couch or kitchen table.