18+ Hands-On Measurement Activities For Pre-Schoolers

Measurement is an essential mathematical concept that forms the basis of understanding quantities, sizes, and dimensions. Introducing measurement concepts to pre-schoolers can help them develop important skills such as counting, sorting, and comparing.

By engaging in hands-on measurement activities, young children can begin to grasp concepts such as length, weight, and capacity, which are critical for their future academic success. 

Here, we will explore some fun and educational measurement activities that can be easily incorporated into preschool classrooms or at home.

These activities are designed to be hands-on and engaging, providing children with opportunities to explore and learn through play.

Let’s dive in and discover some exciting ways to teach measurement to pre-schoolers!

How Do You Introduce Measurements to Preschoolers?

Introducing measurements to children can be a great way to help them develop their early math and problem-solving skills. But how can young children, who likely have a limited understanding of measurement, learn how to measure?

Here are some tips for introducing measurements to preschoolers in a fun and engaging way:

Use Everyday Objects

Using everyday objects is an effective way for children to understand basic measurement concepts. Examples include measuring ingredients for a snack or counting the number of apple slices on a plate.

You can also lay items like paperclips or small blocks side-by-side and ask questions about which is longer and which is shorter.

Game Time

Games are perfect for introducing kids to new concepts because they’re usually enjoyable and provide ample opportunity for practice.

Simple games like rolling balls down ramps or determining the longest jump can provide kids with hands-on experience that helps solidify their understanding of measurements.

Games requiring physical activities also encourage them to get up, move around, and use their bodies in ways that further enhance their learning.


Comparisons engage preschoolers in conversations about size, length, weight, capacity, and other forms of measurement related to the real world.

For example, instead of saying, “Now I need four ounces,” you could say, “This container holds one cup of water; let’s try using two cups instead!”

This encourages your child to think about why you’re making the substitution and allows them to experience different types of measurements without being overwhelmed by abstract numbers or terms.

Hands-On Experiences

You can also use specific materials – such as rulers and toy scales – during playtime or when exploring everyday objects to introduce students more directly to measurements such as length, weight, balance, etc.

If available where you live, you could take short field trips related to measurement (like going citrus fruit picking or visiting a weigh station.) Doing this allows kids to explore in context while simultaneously practicing what they already know.

Incorporating Measurements into Crafts

You can also incorporate measurement into art projects through simple tasks like tracing shapes/cutting paper with scissors/using tape measures/etc., which allows children to practice fine motor skills while gaining confidence in their ability levels, so they develop a more sophisticated understanding later on.

Additionally, these activities often require the usage of language, thus reinforcing maths terminology at the same time!

What are Non-Standard Measurements?

Non-standard measurement is a useful way to help young children better understand topics such as size, weight, and capacity. It can also be used to teach math skills such as patterns, estimating, grouping, and comparisons.

Using this kind of measurement helps to make abstract concepts tangible for preschoolers instead of simply asking them to understand words such as ‘small’ and ‘big.’

Exploring non-standard units of measurement with your preschooler should involve plenty of fun and imagination, like counting the number of steps between a couch and a plant or comparing the size of two toy cars.

As your child gets older, you could start introducing things like paper clips or colored objects so they can get familiar with other forms of measuring in a safe environment.

Non-standard measures can also be used when introducing standard ones so children can stay calm!

Creative Measuring Activities You Can Do With Pre-Schoolers

Measuring is an important concept for pre-schoolers to learn. Young children may find it difficult to understand the idea of measuring, so it’s important to incorporate hands-on activities that can build their understanding.

Here are some fun, creative measuring activities you can do with pre-schoolers:

Guess My Measurement Game

In this game, you measure an object in the room and have the kids guess what object it is. To add an extra layer of challenge, you can give them the raw measurement and have them determine how long the object is (for example, 10 cm).

This activity helps children practice making conversions between different measures and helps build their problem-solving skills.

Play-Dough Shapes 

Give each child some play dough and a ruler or other measuring tool and encourage them to use it to create various shapes like circles, rectangles, or triangles.

Have them measure out the size of each shape before they start creating it; then, once they’ve created a shape, measure its exact size with a ruler.

This activity helps reinforce basic measurements and more advanced concepts like fractions and decimals.

Measurement Relay Race 

Divide your class into two teams and give each team one meter stick or tape measure and a set of basic objects (crayons, markers, etc.) that need to be measured. The first team to accurately measure all objects wins!

This game makes measuring fun and competitive while teaching children how to work together as a team towards a common goal.

Estimating Measurements 

Choose two simple objects, such as pennies or blocks, that can easily be counted or measured and place them side by side on a table. Ask each pre-schooler to look at both objects and estimate which one is bigger before physically measuring them with a ruler or piece of string; then reward correct answers with praise or stickers!

This activity encourages kids to practice making estimations without having prior knowledge of either object’s actual size; plus, it’s great for building confidence in their mathematical abilities.

Road Marking Tape Measurement 

For this activity, you will need some road marking tape (available from DIY stores) that comes in various widths/lengths, along with some flags made from cardstock paper/cardboard boxes cut into shapes like stars, circles, squares, etc.

  • Put down the tape in your classroom, making sure there’s enough for everyone; then attach a small flag onto each piece of tape using sticky tape/pins. 
  • Ask your students to take turns walking around the room, counting off steps until they get back where they started.
  • When they make it back, count up how many steps they took in total (measuring length using road marking tape)and mark off accordingly on paper/chalkboard how far/how wide/how long students walked certain distances.

These activities will help pre-schoolers become comfortable estimating measurements practicing conversion between different units experimenting with proportions Visually representing relationships between sizes. Start becoming confident math thinkers overall!

Pumpkin Match

Measure the circumference of pumpkins by wrapping yarn or twine around the circumference, pulling it tight, and then counting how many times it wraps around the pumpkin. Make an educated guess before actually measuring!

The Great Cookie Race

Divide a batch of cookies into equal parts. Give each team a plate divided into four quadrants and ask them to place one cookie in each quadrant until all are gone.

See which team can put their cookies most evenly through measuring!

Making Ziplock Bag Snakes

Count out various sizes of zip lock bags and let kids measure, cut out different shapes (rectangles, triangles), and make snakes using tape or glue sticks.

They must “measure” their snake by counting how many pieces they used!

Scavenger Clothespin Hunt

Go outside on an autumn day and have the kids hunt for items in nature (leaves, rocks, etc.). Using clothespins, have them measure each new object they find as they add it to their scavenger hunt haven bag!

Measuring Up Popsicles

Give each child 5 large popsicle sticks that all measured up are the same length. Let them arrange them to make the most significant number if put together.

This challenge encourages mathematical logic and will sharpen measurement skills!

Create Comparisons Flip Charts

Cut construction paper into half-inch increment strips from one to 10 inches long (inches on the left side). Ask them questions like “Which line is longer?” or “which line is shorter?”

Pre-schoolers need practice comparing measurements – this is an easy task with age-appropriate visuals they can keep track of while enhancing math skill building!

Marshmallow Math Mayhem

Marshmallows are a predictable size — give your youngsters marshmallows, each colored differently to represent numbers from 1 -10, along with graph paper or blank drawing paper grids already set up in blocks/squares where lines meet with 1 marshmallow being placed in every block/square along two sides of the grid – whichever direction gets there first wins!!


Measurement activities for your preschooler have numerous benefits, so introducing them to your kids is a must! As they grow up, measuring will not be a hassle for them, and they will enjoy helping you with daily chores.

Therefore, allow your kids to become friends with measurement activities at the right time!


Why is it important to introduce measurement concepts to preschoolers?

Introducing measurement concepts to preschoolers can help them develop important skills such as counting, sorting, and comparing.

By engaging in hands-on measurement activities, young children can begin to grasp concepts such as length, weight, and capacity, which are critical for their future academic success.

What kind of hands-on measurement activities can be used with preschoolers?

Many hands-on measurement activities can be used with preschoolers. Some examples include measuring objects with non-standard units such as blocks or cubes, comparing the weight of different objects using a balance scale, and exploring capacity by pouring water into different-sized containers.

How can measurement concepts be incorporated into everyday activities with preschoolers?

Measurement concepts can be incorporated into everyday activities such as cooking, where children can measure ingredients, or during playtime, where they can measure the length of objects using blocks or toys.

Encouraging children to use measurement vocabulary during these activities can help reinforce their understanding of measurement concepts.

What are the benefits of using hands-on measurement activities with preschoolers?

Hands-on measurement activities can help preschoolers develop critical thinking, fine motor, and problem-solving skills.

These activities can also promote social interaction and cooperation as children work together to measure and compare objects.

How can parents or teachers assess a preschooler’s understanding of measurement concepts?

Observing a child’s participation in hands-on measurement activities and listening to their explanations and observations can provide insight into their understanding of measurement concepts.

Additionally, informal assessments, such as asking children to compare or measure objects, can provide information about their understanding of measurement.

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