How to teach: Measuring

Children should be made aware of weight by observing, estimating, weighing and comparing.
Which is heavier?
An elephant or a mouse?
elephant      mouse
Daddy or the girl?
It is good to progress from fun questions like this to actually weighing objects.
Show your child a bag of sugar and a bag of potatoes.
          sugar         and         potatoes
Let the child suggest which is heaviest and then use scales to weigh each bag.
Have fun with estimates
Young children love to play the game with you of estimation.
Which is heavier?
1. A small bag of salt or a large bag of popcorn?
  salt  or        popcorn
 2. cabbage   or          turnip
Food Estimation of weight Actual weight
salt   28.35grams
popcorn   200grams
spinach   30grams
turnip   1kilogram
bowl of cornflakes    
 Choose other foods from the kitchen and continue with estimating and weighing to find actual weight.
Continue this learning while out at the supermarket.
Buying fruit and vegetables
  veg     shop
1. Tell your child that you would like six oranges
2. Explain that they have to pick 6 oranges and put them into a bag and then weigh them.
3. As they are weighed the machine will print out a ticket for them to stick on the oranges saying how much they weigh and the price of the oranges.
  • As your child does this ask her what would happen if she picked all small oranges?
  • Explain that the cost of the oranges depends on the total weight as they are costed by kilo. (An average orange weighs 255 grams. So 6 oranges would be 1.530 kilo.@ £3.40per kilo)
  • It would be an extension of weighing to ask your child:
    If 1 kilo costs £3.40, what is the cost of 1.5 kilos?
  • Children can continue weighing carrots, potatoes and other vegetables.
Going to the Post Office
Take a parcel to the Post Office and allow your child to watch the scales as the parcel is weighed.
Weighing people
What weight is Mum? What weight is Dad?  What weight is the baby?
scale scale scle
Weighing a suitcase.
 scale         girl  
You can use a spring balance to weigh a suitcase or your child can hold the suitcase and stand on the scales. Then if they weigh themselves they only have to subtract their weight from their weight when holding the case.


You can have fun by asking your child to find things around the house which are longer or shorter than their teddy bear.
They can measure these in ‘hands’
 Spread your hand out on a ruler as in this picture. This will tell you the length of your span. Now children can use their hands to measure their toys.
Measure items found around the house.
You can help your child find objects that are longer or shorter than their footprint.
Now measure with a ruler
On this ruler the larger lines denote centimetres (cm). The smaller lines denote millimetres (mm). Note that 1 cm equals 10 mm.
Now use a ruler to measure.
1. What is the length of this line?
2. What is the length of this pencil on the ruler?
3. How many millimetres are there between the arrow and the pencil?
4. This ruler is marked in centimetres. How long is this line?
Measuring height
Babies have their height measured on birth and from time to time by their mother and doctors.
Many children will have wall charts for measuring height in their rooms.
Use a measure like this to help your child find the height of items around the house
Height of dining room table = 
Height of their bed =
Height of the settee=
Height of the television= 


All children love playing with water. Using a measuring jug, water and some beakers is great fun and children learn how many beakers a jug with 1 litre of water will fill.
Now use an egg cup, a tea cup and a saucepan. Let child fill each container with water and pour this water into a measuring jug.
Read the amount of water in each container and fill in the table underneath.
Container   egg cup tea cup  saucepan
Introducing cubic centimetres
Worksheets on measuring
Help your child at home with measuring
Add these weights
Teaching weight
Weight worksheet
Scales - part 1
Scales - part 2
Circle the longer or shorter
Learn to measure
Conversion worksheet on measuring

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