Math Activity

Tools and Measuring

The Construction Zone theme is a natural for the discussion and use of tools of all kinds. Whether your family is involved in building, designing, cooking, sewing, crafts, or more, your child sees you using tools every day. Involve your child in conversations about the right tool for the job, giving him or her the chance to use simple household tools along with you. Play tools are fun, but using real tools helps your child learn how they work and how to use them safely.

Help your child learn about measuring, too. It is not necessary for him or her to learn exactly how to use a ruler or tape measure at this point, but to learn that there is a concept of measuring and that there are tools to help us.

You and your child can invent measuring games, using an item, such as a toy or spoon as the “ruler.” Go around the house, measuring objects by length and/or height with the item. Use the terms as long as, longer than, shorter than, as tall as, and taller than.

As your child becomes more comfortable with the measuring, encourage him or her to use measuring in play as well as when involved in other family events. You may wish to make long-lasting memories of your child's growing height somewhere in your home. Show your child the numbers on the ruler or tape measure after you have marked the measurement. It will be fun to see the changes as time goes on.