It’s all metric to me!

8 - 10 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Boy using a ruler and pencil to measure and mark a wooden frame

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 3-4 curriculum include:

  • recognising that you measure mass, capacity and length using different units
  • recognising that you measure mass, capacity and length with different kinds of measuring equipment
  • knowing the basic metric units for mass, capacity and length
  • accurately measuring mass, capacity and length.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Master measurement

There are three parts to mastering measurement – knowing the metric units, choosing the right equipment, and then making the measurements. Help your child practise by involving them whenever you need to measure something, such as:

  • measuring width / height / length
    How wide is the wall we're going to paint?
    How high is the kitchen bench?
    How long is this scarf that I'm knitting for Mum? Do you think it's enough?
  • measuring weight (mass)
    Let's see how heavy your suitcase is.
    How heavy is the pumpkin that we grew?
  • measuring volumes
    How much soup have we cooked?
  • comparing the length, mass or volume of different items
  • measuring out specific quantities
    We need 500 grams of flour and 200 mL of milk, can you please measure them out?
  • converting between centimetres (cm), millimetres (mm) and metres (m); grams (g) and kilograms (kg); millilitres (mL) and litres (L).

Note: In everyday language we often say weight when we should, technically speaking, say mass. If your child is being taught to use mass at school, this might confuse them. A simple way to avoid this is to not use either term - just describe things as being heavy/heavier/heaviest and light/lighter/lightest

If you want to use weight and mass correctly, do an internet search for mass vs weight. It’s not necessary in order to help your child, but it might help you feel better prepared if your child ever asks how they are different (it’s all to do with gravity). 

Go online

For online reinforcement, Draw a floor plan of your home will give your child practice at:

  • simple scales, legends and directions

Monumental Measurements Mess Ups will give your child practice at:

  • units of measurement in the metric and imperial systems.



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Last modified
15 April 2020