Project: Hands, Feet, Oh My!
Video Tutorial: hands feet oh my
Non-standard units of measure are used to introduce young children to the concept of measuring without them having to read. The idea is to focus the child on the concept of longer, shorter, heavier, and lighter before they move onto the next step of measuring using standard units. In this activity we are using paper clips, but you can use LEGO bricks or pennies, too. Just make sure whatever unit you pick is a consistent size.
1. Trace your child’s open hand on a piece of paper.
2. Ask your child to predict how many paper clips long they think their hand print is, then have them measure and record the number.
3. Ask and have them predict the width of their hand print and record the number.
4. Trace and measure a sibling’s hand or an adult’s hand and compare the results.
Have children estimate and measure with different units. Compare the measurements and discuss why they are different.
Trace a child’s full body onto a large piece of paper (or outline their full body in chalk outside on a paved surface if the weather allows). Demonstrate how to measure different body parts with the paper clips and write down the numbers. Children can work in pairs to help each other measure body parts and record results. Who has the tallest outline? Whose foot was less than 8 paper clips long?
Sponsored by National Grid.
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