Measuring activities for preschoolers

Measuring activities for preschoolers might not be an easy concept to teach. You can represent the idea of measurement when you talk about how long or short items are.

However, when preschoolers encounter other objects in everyday life, the concept of measuring might not be apparent.

Of course, when you use simple items like flowers, toys, food, or other natural objects, preschoolers would engage with measuring in one way or another. 

Introduction of Measurements

Most preschoolers describe measuring as long, short, thick, or narrow. As young learners, they begin to experience measuring when they compare items that are longer or shorter.

For instance, when they compare shoe size with another friend, they might see that one foot is longer or shorter. In that way, you can introduce measuring to preschoolers, especially for bilingual learners.

  • Use familiar objects to begin talking about measuring.
  • Begin teacher-directed inquiries such as how long an item is compared to another thing? How do you know?
  • Avoid using a measuring tool like a ruler or tape measure.
  • Instead, use counters or groups of familiar shapes to measure.
  • Once preschoolers master the concept of measurement, you can introduce more sophisticated tools and explain measuring units.
  • Develop lessons to practice number sense, identification, and measuring.
  • Without numbers, they can’t measure.

So, anytime you can review and reassess numbers, add those concepts to your everyday practice.

  • Use various methods of coloring, shapes, or cutting-and-pasting activities to reinforce measuring concepts.
  • Start with basic measuring activities like length (how long) and width (how wide).
  • You can then add more measuring ideas like weight (how heavy and light) and volume (how much). 

Measuring Activities of Length

Measuring activities of length is most likely the best way to introduce measurement. For instance, you can easily take two pieces of paper strips or clay. Then, you can compare how long or short they are.

However, you can take the concept of measurement and add more diverse activities. Use the printables with flowers and petals to count and measure.

As mentioned before, you could use a ruler. Instead, use counters or strips of paper to compare lengths. Within the same worksheet, you can also practice counting numbers and cut-and-paste.

Help your preschooler to line up the counters to measure. In this way, they will begin to develop those measuring skills for when you use a ruler.

You could also use other natural elements like stickers or blocks to make measurements. Besides comparing lengths, you can also use paint to describe objects and practice number sense.  

Preschool Measurement for Bilinguals

Teaching measurement for bilingual learners may seem like an easy task. However, students learning English as a second language could need additional support.

Perhaps, a few keywords in English and Spanish may be useful for understanding measurement. Regardless of what type of method you might use, math could require more instructions in both languages.

Of course, number counting is similar. However, describing, explaining, and writing measurement might take more practice. So, use bilingual worksheets that address all aspects of learning. 

Measuring activities for preschoolers can actually be a fun time. You could easily take household items or natural objects to compare length and width.

But consider other ways to use measurement in everyday life using what preschoolers already know. By adding counting and number recognition to measurement activities, you develop more ways preschooler grasps math concepts. 

You can get these printables from the Resource section

These learning materials are useful for families and educators that follow the Common Knowledge curriculum and the Head Start program. The standards assessed in each activity are Goal: Use Simple Measurement Skills and Seriated Objects – II-MR3.6, II-MR3.7, II-MR3.13. Goal: Quantify Groups of Objects – I-MR4.3a, I-MR4.3b, I-MR4.7, I-MR4.6b

measurement activities