Develop math skills with everyday home items.
Hands On Measuring Activities
We have had a lot of fun exploring measurements in the last few months. Finding engaging and practical ways to introduce mathematical concepts is what Hands-On Education is all about!
To me, measuring is a physical skill which we can learn through experience. Only by holding physical objects in our hands can we really understand weight. In the same way pouring water into different sized containers and comparing how much each can hold is a fantastic way to understand capacity.
Using Non-Standard Units
When we are learning to measure it is important to use the correct units such as centimetres, grams or litres. This can be a difficult concept to understand however, one effective way to introduce measurements to young children can be to use non-standard units. This might include measuring length or height with blocks, or measuring capacity with cups.
In using non-standard units, the same rules apply as when using standard measurement units. Here are a few tips:
- Use multiple of the same object. For example, to measure length using blocks, make sure the blocks are the same size.
- Begin measuring at 0.
- Use one to one correspondence whilst counting. This means pointing to one block and saying the next number.
Make A Measuring Bottle
One of our favourite activities within the measurements: two topic was making our own measuring bottle. We stuck a piece of masking tape on a plastic bottle and poured in one cup of water. Harry then drew a line to show the level of water in the bottle. We continued this until the bottle was full, marking a line after each cup full of water.
After making this bottle, the boys were then able to use it to measure the capacity of other containers. We filled each container to the rim and poured it into our measuring bottle.
One good tip to consider when using water in play and experiment’s is to add a few drops of food colouring. This makes it much easier to see the water.
Creativity In Maths
In the subject of maths, I think it is sometimes easy to get stuck on the idea of numbers. However, there is always room for play and creativity.
To make this spiral we used a ruler to carefully measure strips of coloured paper all of different lengths. We then used those strips to make a spiral as well as other shapes.
Recording The Results
I have designed activity sheets to support leaning within many of our activities. It is important to remember that the activity sheet itself is not the activity, but to be used alongside practical learning. On these activity sheets children can record measurements in tables and graphs and draw diagrams.
When recording the results in an experiment or investigation, Teddy and Harry often work together. Although they are at different developmental stages in maths and literacy, Harry can learn from Teddy as they work together. I think that working alongside peers of different ages and abilities is a fantastic way for children to learn.
5 Tips For Accurate Measuring
- Measure using the correct units, for example, centimetres, grams or litres.
- When using non-standard units, use a multiple number of the same item, for example cubes or cups.
- Use the correct tool for measuring. This might include a ruler, scales or thermometer.
- Begin measuring at 0.
Check out our hands-on activities to introduce the concept of measurements to children though practical and playful activities. Have fun!