Measurement in inches and centimeters

Kids love to measure, especially 2nd graders.  They’ll measure anything they can get their hands on, and it behooves us to give them plenty to measure so they can develop these motor, perceptual, and spatial skills while they’re still interested.

Here are some collections I have put together for measurement activities using both inches and centimeters.  These measurements are then the basis for plenty of questions and problems to solve:  “What was the longest item in the bag?…the shortest?…How much longer was the spoon than the paper clip?…”

More about measurement

Nonstandard measurement with hands & cubes

Here’s a beginning measurement idea (actually two ideas) for children in K-1 who are measuring with nonstandard units.

Don't kids just love to use their hands?  Have them measure with them!  They’re big and easy to use, and fun.  “How many hands long is the table?…How many hands tall is your friend?…etc., etc.”  Students do this individually.  Show them how to place their hands down in sequence and you’re done.  Then you can discuss why the table is 12 of Gina’s hands long, but only 10 of Jeremy’s.  That’s idea #1.

More about nonstandard measurement


"How far can you walk in a minute?"

Here’s a twofer – an activity in which students develop a sense of how long a minute is, and of distance as measured in feet or meters.  

Students predict how far they think they can walk in a minute.  They write their predictions down, and then walk a premeasured course until the person running the timer calls a minute.   This is one of our more popular Math Night activities.  

Here are some things you can do to make this go smoothly.

Read more about walking