May 20 celebrates the day that the International Bureau of Weights and Measures was established in 1875. Parents can teach kids to notice measurement concepts by trying one or more of the hands-on “around the house” activities listed below.
One of the best ways to teach kids about weights and measures is to give children real life experiences involving hands-on practice on a regular basis. Kids won’t be able to say no to scavenger hunt games, cooking ventures and other fun ways to learn measurement concepts. Learning about weights and measures will be more relevant to kids when they experience how measurement relates to their everyday lives.
Fun Ways to Teach Kids about Weights and Measures
Cooking Activities Using Measurement: Teach kids cooking skills and measurement concepts at the same time. Let children help cook dinner once a week and use measuring spoons and measuring cups as well as cut butter using the measurements printed on the butter wrapper.
Height Measurement Activity: Tape a piece of paper to the wall in a closet, laundry room or on the back of a door. Have your child stand against it and mark your child’s height. Have your child measure the distance from the floor to the mark using a tape measure or yardstick and write the measurement next to the mark. Leave the paper up for a few months or even years and routinely mark your child’s height and have them measure the distance.
Measurement Scavenger Hunt: This simple hands-on measurement activity can be done by one child alone, or as a challenge between parent and child or even done in small groups. Give your child (or each team) a ruler. Tell your child to carry the ruler around the house and find five things in the house that are one foot long. On another day do the same scavenger hunt with a yardstick or piece of paper or length of yard cut to represent a different length.
Estimation Scavenger Hunt: This measurement activity teaches estimation skills at the same time. Show your child a ruler. Let them hold, feel, touch and look at it. Take the ruler back and tell your child to look around the house to guess five things that are the same length as the ruler. After your child has guessed five things, give your child the ruler again so they can measure if their guesses were correct.
Add Measurement Tools to Play Areas: After introducing children to measurement concepts using tools such as measuring cups, spoons and tape measures, parents can strategically place the measurement tools where kids will be likely to use them. Measuring spoons and cups will definitely be used if placed in the sandbox and tape measures will be used if added to the play workbench area or even with a box of dress up clothes.
Children learn best through play and playing with measurement concepts can be done in hands-on, fun ways that teach kids how weight and measure matter in real life.