Spaghetti Box Kids

Strategies, Tips and Activities for Learning

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Kids’ Science: Measure Stuff

December 8th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Measuring stuff around the house is a fun and easy science activity for kids. It’s perfect for Saturday afternoons or whenever you want to spend some quality, stress free time with your child. These simple measurement games are flexible enough to grow with your child’s developing skills.

Here’s All You’ll Need to Get Started:

-Tape measure
-Ruler
-Paper and pencil

Activity 1

The Alphabet Game

Here’s how to play this measuring game. . .

Hunt for three things around the house that start with the letter A. Measure each item and log the measurement on a piece of paper. (Hint:round to the nearest inch.)

Now hunt for three things around the house that start with the letter B. Measure each item and log the measurement on a piece of paper.

Next hunt for three things around the house that start with the letter C. Measure each item and log the measurement on a piece of paper.

Now put a check mark next to the biggest item. Put a circle next to the smallest item. (Advanced: how many of the smallest items would it take to equal the length of the longest item?)

Activity 2

1/2 a Sandwich and a Cup of Soup Please

Here’s how to play this measurement game. . .

Measure the length of your couch. Log the result on a piece of paper. Now find something around the house that is approximately 1/2 the length of the couch–for example: the width of your dining table. Measure it, then log the result on a piece of paper. Now find something that is approximately 1/2 the width of your dining table–for example: a picture on the wall. Measure it, then log the result on a piece of paper. Now find something 1/2 the width of the picture on the wall–for example: your toaster. Measure it, then log the result. Now find something 1/2 the width of your toaster–for example: 1/2 a sandwich. Measure it, then log the result. Keep playing until you find something that is approximately one inch long–a peanut for example. Log the result on a piece of paper. (Advanced: keep track of how long it took to complete the activity. Compare the result each new time you complete this activity. What’s the trend?)

Activity 3

Double Double!

Here’s how to play this game. . .

In this game, start by measuring your child’s nose. If you measure the width, it should come out to approximately one inch. Log the results. (Your child will love seeing something like ‘Claire’s nose: 1 inch’ on your chart). Now find something approximately double the length–for example: a strawberry. Measure it and log the results. Now find something approximately double the length of the strawberry. Measure it and log the results. Keep going until you run out of things to measure. (Advanced: measure the entire length of your house. Using that figure as a guide, estimate the distance to your mailbox, nearest park or grocery store).

Measuring things goes hand in hand with the fundamentals of science. These activities offer basic exposure to measuring procedures, and can be played again and again. As your child becomes more skillful at measuring stuff, work toward more precise measurements by rounding to the nearest 1/2 inch, and eventually to the nearest 1/4 or 1/8 inch. A good way to engage in even more precise measurements is to measure coins or book ends to the nearest 1/16 of an inch! Be sure to record the results. Have fun!

Tags: Kids’ Activities · Kids' Science

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Midwest Mom // Dec 9, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Great idea. I love activities that spark imaginations and get my children learning.

    We regularly cook together, and it is fun to see my older son able to “double the recipe” or cut it in half as appropriate. We talk about servings and how to take a recipe that makes enough for 8 people and reduce it to make enough for 5 people. It’s a great way to get mathematical minds working on a practical problem.

    What’s best is that we get to eat the results! Thanks for the post! – MM

  • 2 Spaghetti Box Kids // Dec 9, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Sounds like you have a lot of fun in the kitchen. I agree, that’s a great place for kids to put math to use while having a good time. . .

  • 3 Cara // Mar 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Great article. These are very creative ways to get kids interested in understanding what measuring is all about. Nice work!

  • 4 Spaghetti Box Kids // Mar 12, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Thanks for stopping by. Good luck and have fun–

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