Help your little one learn about weights and measures.

Teaching Children About Weights & Measurements

by Kelly Sundstrom

So your little one is ready for more involved science topics but not quite ready for you to get out the microscopes and test tubes. Try sticking with a few topics that are important but simple enough for your toddler or preschooler to be able to follow and have fun like weights and measurements. Think hands-on. Find as many activities as you can that allow your child a chance to learn about weights and measurements in the most interactive way possible.

1. Favorite Weighing Activities

So, you want to teach your toddlers and preschoolers about weight, but you're at a loss. All you need is a kitchen scale and whatever objects your children want to weigh. For example, set a kitchen scale on a table top and instruct your little ones to gather anything that they want to weigh from around the house like toys, books and clothes. Take turns placing each item in top of the scale. When your children see that something weighs more than something else, make a point of talking about the differences in weight. Play a game where your children have to put things into different piles by weight and weigh the items to see if they are correct.

2. Favorite Measuring Activities

Can you believe how much your little ones have grown? If you measure your children against a door frame or on a measuring chart, you may have already started teaching them a basic sense of measurement. Take this a step further by showing them how to measure different things around the house. For example, get out different measuring tools like rulers, a measuring tape and a yard stick and walk around the house with your children to find different things to measure. These things could be a table, a chair, the sofa and even your pets. Just don't hold Fluffy down in order to measure her! Discuss which things have similar measurements. Consider taking a trip outdoors to measure items in the natural world as well like tree widths or rock lengths. If you have a garden, measure the height of a favorite plant. Continue measuring it over time to see how much it has grown.

3. Weighing in Real Life

Weighing is a part if everyday life, especially when you go to the grocery store or a doctor's office. Take your child with you to the store the next time you need to buy fruits or vegetables. Allow your little one to fill the bags with the fruits or veggies and show her how to place the bag on the scale in the store to weigh them. Call out the weight so that she can understand that each weight has a corresponding number. As a mom, you know all too well how accurate a bathroom scale can be. Next time you are at the doctor's office for your child, make sure to bring it to her attention when she has to get weighed. She might find it funny that even she has a weight just like the fruits and veggies! Talk to your child about how different people can weigh different amounts. Just make sure that you let your little one know that sometimes a person's weight should be kept private, or you could end up with your talkative toddler announcing your weight at the next family dinner.

4. Measuring in Real Life

Do you need to put in a shelf in your home, or will you be putting together a desk or a bench? Let your little one tag along with you so that he can see how things are measured in a real-life situation. You may need to measure the length of the wood that needs to be cut to make the shelf or the width of the plank needed for the top of the bench. Instead of measuring them yourself, allow your child to measure them first so that he gets the point that exact measurements are important. Keep in mind that your child's measurements might need to be rechecked by you before you cut any of the wood, or you could end up with a really weird-looking shelf or bench.

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