Fun with STEM: Measurement Activities for Your Preschooler

measuretalk
Image via Samantha Chase

Kids love figuring out how things work, which is why STEM activities are so great! STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. These activities are fun for kids to participate in, and they help them to learn new concepts.

Try this simple STEM activity about measurement: it's a great way to explore measurement with your preschooler. It doesn't require any preparation, and you probably already have all the supplies you will need. The best part? This activity can be done anywhere and at any time. Whether you complete it in the afternoon at home or take it on the road with you during a vacation, your child is sure to have a great time exploring measurement in the real world.

supplies
Image via Samantha Chase

The first thing you need to do is gather your supplies. You will need a tape measure, a notebook, and a pencil.

table1
Image via Samantha Chase

Next, you will need to create a table. This table will be used to collect the data you gather while measuring objects.

Drag your finger across the top of the page to show your child where to draw their first line. Then, do the same for the vertical line down the middle of the page. After your child has drawn both lines, it should look like you have made a giant lowercase “t” on the page.

Label the left column “Object” and the right column “Length.”

measuring
Image via Samantha Chase

Now you are ready to measure!

Make sure to record each object and its length in your notebook. You can take your measurements anywhere. We took some at the park as well as at home. We even took a few while we were at the doctor's office!

Don't be afraid to let your child do as much of the writing as they are comfortable with. If they want to help but don't yet have the necessary writing skills, they can draw a picture for each measured object instead of writing out its name.

opening
Image via Samantha Chase

This activity provides a great opportunity to start discussing some basic measurement concepts.

While taking your measurements, try talking about some of the following:

  1. What is length?
  2. Why do we start measuring at zero?
  3. Why do you think people might need to measure how long something is?
tablemeasure
Image via Samantha Chase

After you have finished taking your measurements, it is time to analyze the data you collected.

Depending on the age and ability of your child, some of the following ideas might be helpful places to start:

  1. What is data?
  2. Color the longest object green and the shortest blue.
  3. Draw a star by any objects that were the same length.
  4. List the objects from shortest to longest (or longest to shortest).
scale
Image via Samantha Chase

If you and your child enjoyed this activity, try replacing your measuring tape with a scale. You can create a table, weigh objects, and analyze your data just like you did during the first activity.

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Did you and your preschooler enjoy this activity? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Fun with STEM: Measurement Activities for Your Preschooler

Samantha Chase is math major turned elementary school teacher turned stay at home mom extraordinaire. She spent three years studying mathematics at the University of Southern Florida before deciding it was time to make a change. She switched her major to Elementary Education and became a teacher. After graduation, Samantha spent 6 years (and a lot of sleepless nights) working in a high poverty school in the heart of St.Petersburg, Florida. She taught the first, fourth and fifth grades and lear ... More

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