Measure up

6 - 8 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Girl using a measuring tape to measure a window 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 1-2 curriculum include:

  • comparing and measuring length, area or capacity by choosing and using suitable informal units (eg hand-spans, paces, blocks, bowls, cups)
  • estimating how many smaller items placed end to end will equal a larger object's length
  • estimating how many filled cups or similar items will equal the capacity of a container
  • estimating which area is larger.

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

Get measuring

Most kids love measuring things. It's tempting to give them special measuring tools so they can do it 'properly', but learning how to measure informally is actually an important step. So leave the ruler in the drawer, and encourage your child to :

  • measure objects around the home using building blocks or other objects
    Do you think the chair cushion is wider than the sofa cushion? Let's measure them with your wooden blocks and see if you are right.
  • work out ways to measure longer lengths, such as the length of the driveway or the width of the room
    The pool is pretty long, maybe you could use a skipping rope or broom as a measuring stick. Or count how many steps it is.
  • pour water between containers of different sizes and shapes – it's a great bathtime activity, and develops your child's sense of how size, shape and volume relate
  • estimate volume while helping you to cook
    Next we need to whisk two eggs and three cups of milk. Which mixing bowl should we use?
    Which container is the right size for these leftovers?

Go online

For online reinforcement, Treasure Map: Peg + Cat will give your child practice at:

  • how to measure length informally.



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Last modified
7 April 2020