What's The Point
The purpose of this activity is to help your child compare different items and put them in order, estimate (guess) their sizes, and then measure to find out. These are all important steps toward understanding measurement.
From the Virtual Pre-K: Ready For Math toolkit
This Activity Will Help Your Child
- Estimate and measure
- Compare objects
- Develop the muscles in fingers and hands that are used for writing
- Big Dog, Little Dog
by P.D. Eastman
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears
by Jan Brett
Pen or pencil
A handful of the same small item (e.g., pennies, paperclips, barrettes)
How Do I Do It?
Safety note: Small items can be choking hazards for young children. Be sure this activity is closely supervised by you.
On recycled paper, trace the foot or shoe of each family member. If you have a small family, invite friends to join in. With your child’s help, write each person’s name inside his/her foot outline. Cut out and compare the paper feet – first two at a time and then the whole group. Who has the biggest foot? Smallest? Help your child put the paper feet in order from smallest to biggest.
Use small household items, such as pennies or paperclips, to measure each foot. First guess how many of the item each foot will be, and then find out (e.g., baby’s foot is five pennies long and Dad’s foot is 15 pennies long). Help your child write the number on each paper foot. When all the feet have been measured ask your child, “Whose foot is longest?” and “Who has the shortest foot?”
Next, compare the paper feet with household items by asking questions such as, “Is your foot longer or shorter than the telephone?” “Is Daddy’s foot wider or narrower than this straw?” “Is baby’s foot bigger or smaller than this cup?”
Take It Further
You can also use the paper feet to measure household objects, "How many of Daddy's feet is the rug? How many of baby's feet is the rug? Why?"