Let's measure!

Measuring things in the home

Materials Required

  • Loose parts (multiple pieces) - e.g. Lego pieces, small blocks, sticks, pencils, crayons, straws, forks, spoons, pegs, string. paper rolls etc.
  • Shoe box or container to collect loose parts
  • Objects to measure: Toys, shoes, boxes - anything you have to measure
  • Paper, crayons, textas, pencils

Optional materials

string, wool, paper, crayons

Play experience profile

Play Experience Preparation

Collect a variety of loose parts that are the same size/length (e.g. same length Lego, blocks, sticks, pencils, straws, etc.).

Experience Steps

  1. Using your loose parts box - choose materials that are the same length/size (e.g. pencils, texts, Lego pieces).
  2. Choose an object to measure in the home (e.g. box, toy, doll, shoe, body parts, etc.).
  3. Have your child estimate or guess how many parts it will take to measure the object.
  4. You estimate or guess how many parts it will take to measure the object.
  5. Write your predictions/estimations down.
  6. Use the loose parts that are the same size/length to measure the object - line them up next to the object and count them.
  7. Record your findings - write them down on a chart or graph on paper.
  8. Compare measurements with other objects (e.g. compare different lengths of toys, heights of block towers, etc).

What to talk about, or questions to ask during the experience

  • How many _______ (loose parts: e.g. Lego pieces) do you think it will take to measure this?
  • Let's count how many ________(loose parts) it takes to measure this.
  • What else can we find to measure?
  • Let's compare - which one do you think is the longest?
  • Let's compare - which one do you think is the shortest?
  • Let's compare - which one do you think is the tallest?
  • How can we find out?
  • What else can we use to measure?

Build on this...

  • Go outside to find other things in the environment to measure (e.g. plants, garden beds, pets, tree trunks, sticks, etc.).
  • Find other everyday items in the house to measure (table, toaster, containers).
  • Find other things outside (e.g. sticks, stones, leaves) and line them up in order of size to compare.
  • Measure each other - measure body parts (e.g. arms, feet, legs) and compare.
  • Use lengths of wool or string to measure and compare.

WHO guidelines for physical activity and sedentary behaviour

Provide evidence-based public health recommendations for children, adolescents and adults on physical activity. Learn more

Walking around house to collect loose parts and find other things to measure is being physically active.

EYLF Outcomes

The Early Years Learning Framework has been designed for use by early childhood educators working in partnership with families, children’s first and most influential educators. View PDF

  1. Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity
  2. Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating
  3. Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work

EYLF Principle

Principle 3: High expectations and equity. Children progress well when they, their parents and educators hold high expectations for their achievement in learning.

EYLF Practice

Practice: Intentional teaching. Intentional teaching is deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful. They use strategies such as modelling and demonstrating, open questioning, speculating, explaining, engaging in shared thinking and problem solving to extend children’s thinking and learning.

Units communicate measurement - measuring is the process of sub-dividing the object by placing units (in this case loose parts) end to end alongside the object. Most measurement experiences in the early years are making comparisons (MacDonald, 2018).

MacDonald, A. (2018). Mathematics in early childhood education. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.


Jo Grimmond

Community Engagement Coordinator / Early Start, University of Wollongong

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