# Teaching Children About Weights & Measurements

Your child will eventually understand weights and measures if you provide her with plenty of hands-on experiences. Sure, teachers dedicate a few weeks each school year to measurement, but a child needs ongoing, frequent encounters to become comfortable using measuring tools. If your child masters measurement skills, she will reap the benefits in everyday life and will be armed with crucial tools necessary for success in math and science.

## Non-Standard Measures

Expose your child to the concept of measurement before he even hears words like “meter” or “inch.” Incorporate comparative language, such as “more than,” “heavier” and “shorter,” into daily conversations. Use common household items to encourage your child to measure: “Joey, let’s see how many pieces of cereal it takes to make a line as long as your spoon.” Buy a set of interlocking plastic cubes and challenge him to put together a row of cubes as long as his coloring book --- or one that reaches from the table to the wall 2.

## Sensory Station

Children are sensory learners who need to see and touch for themselves. Provide a water table, a rice tub or a sand box that will entertain and educate your child at the same time. Equip it with differently-sized measuring cups, spoons, containers and bowls. Include containers that hold the same amount yet have different shapes, such as a short, fat container and a tall, skinny one. Ask your child questions: “Which container will hold more water, Josie?” Let her discover weights and measures as she explores.

## Problem-Solving Center

Kick it up a notch with older children -- set up a measurement center that revolves around solving problems. Ask your child to figure out how many cans of soup it would take to equal the weight of an elephant. Stock the center with the necessary measuring tools and materials. Focus on length one week and volume the next. Your child can solve the problems using both metric and customary measures.