Exploring measurement in preschool

Here are some ways that you can introduce beginning math concepts using measurement!

We brought out the rulers and measuring tapes this week.  Read on to see all of the ways we explored measurement in preschool…

Building Vocabulary with Books

We began our day by reading this oldie, but goodie to the children.  Prior to reading our story, I asked the children if they knew what the word lengthy meant.  The children seemed a little stumped, until I began asking them some inference questions.  I invited them to look at the cover of the book and to tell me about the dog.  A few of them shouted out that he was long.  To which I answered, “Yes!  He is long!  Lengthy means long.”

Lengthy” by Syd Hoff is a fun story about a dachshund named Lengthy.  As his name suggests, he is an unusually long dog.  Throughout the story, Lengthy uses his length to play with children, to help his owner, and in the end, to save the day…

Comparing and Contrasting

After reading our story, I invited each child up to the front of the classroom  so that we could see how long, or how tall, each of them were…

Each child was invited to choose his or her own colored marker.  With their marker and a ruler, we measure how tall we were and then invited the children to write their own name or initials next to their height on our butcher paper…

Exploring Measurement with Links

We discussed who was the tallest, then who was the next tallest, and so fourth.  I knew there would be a bit of down time while each child was being measured, so I brought out a box of plastic chain links to fill  in the gap.  I invited the children to see how long of a chain they could make while we were busy measuring heights.  Each child took a handful of chain links and quickly got to work connecting them all together…

After we finished our discussion of the children’s heights, I gave each child their own measuring tape and then helped each child lay out and measure the chains that they had been working so hard to assemble…

Collaborating with Peers

We then assembled the chains into one long giant chain that stretched clear across our classroom…

Investigating with Real Tools

While working on the very basics of measurement, I emphasized how important it was to start at the very end of the ruler or measuring tape by the 1 inch mark in order to get an accurate measurement.  Measuring tapes and rulers were left out in various places around the classroom for the children to explore throughout the day…

The few measuring activities that I shared with you today were just the beginning of a fun-filled day of measurement exploration.  I can’t wait to share a few of our other fun measurement activities with you later this week…

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on:

Exploring measuring tools in preschool by Teach Preschool

Measuring with legos by A Mom With a Lesson Plan

Outdoor maths: measuring the size of sticks by I’m a Teacher, Get me Outside Here!

By |2018-12-20T14:28:42+00:00February 7th, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Amy February 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Thks for the idea! Going to use it this summer !

  2. Henrick February 8, 2013 at 5:16 am - Reply

    What a fun this is, kids love to know that how long they are 🙂 Well frankly speaking I also love to measure my height after some time :$

  3. Debs February 8, 2013 at 5:49 am - Reply

    Gorgeous. Kids love this sort of play and what great learning along the way. Cute book too! 🙂

  4. Betsy February 8, 2013 at 9:05 am - Reply

    I am about to do measurement so I was excited to see this link! Our local library does not carry this book, so I looked on amazon. The only copy was $274.00! You have a valuable book:)! Plus yours is signed!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      I have had this book for years! I always hate when one of my old faves can’t be easily found anymore. But it gives me a good excuse to hang onto all my books when my hubby starts grumbling about getting rid of a few:)

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