Learning to Measure

Reggio activities - Learning to measure from An Everyday StoryIsn’t it always the way; Jack gets some lovely and thoughtful gifts for christmas and the thing he loves the most is that little green frog measuring tape.

My mum picked it up on an impulse when she was fabric shopping. Well, Jack has been busily measuring anything and anyone who will stand still long enough. He has developed a rather unique way of telling us how tall we are though.

He doesn’t actually look at the numbers, instead, Jack pulls out the tape, holds it against us and then tells us the time. So, he’ll say, ‘Mummy, you’re twenty past three.’ or ‘Daddy, you’re ten past four.’

I’m not quite sure where this came from, and while rather adorable, I thought, since he is interested in measuring so much, I may as well make the most of it and set up an activity for him to learn to measure.

Reggio math - setting up a measuring activity from An Everyday StoryReggio math activities - Learning to measure from An Everyday StoryWe had everything on hand, it was just a matter of gathering it all together. Jack is a rather prolific drawer/writer and so I included a little notebook for him to record the measurements as well as the sandpaper letters to practise the correct form.

Each one of those green cylinders are identical except for their height (they came from another game we have) and so this was a good place to start. Jack could arrange them in height order and then using his measuring tape, measure each cylinder and write the number in his notebook.

Learning to Measure - Recording numbers - An Everyday StoryThis really helped him to understand height and measuring; the idea that things are different lengths and these lengths are represented by the numbers on his tape.

After a few practices, Jack was keen to measure the other items on the tray….and then everything around the house. Recording as he went.

Learning to Measure - An Everyday StoryEarly Numeracy - Learning to Measure - An Everyday StoryJack knows 1-10, most of 11-20 when prompted and then needs help to remember twenty + number, thirty + number and so on. As it turns out, this funny frog measuring tape, this impulse buy, has really helped Jack understand not only the concept of length but also counting and writing and recording. Thanks Mum.

And this little measuring tape is the perfect size for little pockets so it often finds its way on trips with us where Jack can measure the milk carton at the supermarket or more commonly these days, the fire extinguishers at the shopping centres.

12 thoughts on “Learning to Measure

  1. How adorable! I’ll have to remember this for when Cameron is more confident with numbers. He loves his tape measures. Cam is obsessed with fire extinguishers; he calls them ‘dingwashers’ and points them out everywhere.

  2. Sweet! I first watched young children measure items in a preschool observation class. I originally thought they would not even come close to understanding it all and they so surprised me. It was a turning point in child development for me. Oh the opportunities we can present. Thank you for sharing this story. Delightful!

    • Children are really are capable of so much aren’t they when given the chance. I remember watching 4 year olds using proper sewing needles and thinking that they would prick their fingers or maybe do something a little silly. But they all worked so conscientiously on their sewing. Everytime I see something like this I am reminded that we need to trust children and believe in them as capable people.

  3. I love this story….what an inspiration your son is….just by offering him something many of us would call ‘a simple thing’ he was/ is able to explore all sorts of things through his own initiative.

  4. I need to keep my eye out for one of these tape measures (or similar)!
    My youngest, also left-handed I notice, is mad for numbers and measuring.
    He uses our rulers and tape measures, but one of his own would get just as much use as Jack’s does, I’m sure.
    it seems so obvious now! Thanks for the inspiration.

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