Let's Measure It!

Help your child begin to understand measurement (size, length, and weight)!

For this Activity you will need:

  • Plastic measuring cups
  • Plastic measuring spoons
  • Two plastic (2) tubs


  1. Give your child the measuring cups and spoons. Let her play with them, comparing their sizes and seeing how they fit together.
  2. Tell her that they are called measuring cups and spoons. Ask: "Why do you think we use measuring cups and spoons?" Let her name a number of different uses.
  3. Fill one plastic tub with water and move to the kitchen, bathroom, or outside (somewhere that you don’t mind getting wet).
  4. Ask your child to pick out a cup and fill the cup with water. Encourage her to pour the water in and out of the cup.
  5. Next, allow her to fill the other measuring cups and spoons with water. Tell her that each measuring cup holds different amounts of water. Give her time to play with the cups and water.
  6. Now, ask her to fill and pour the water from one tub to the other using the measuring spoons and the cups. Ask: "Which cups work fastest to fill the bin?" If she says, the "largest or biggest cup," tell her she is "Very smart!"

Next Steps/Follow-Up:
  • Have your child help you cook. Let her use the measuring cups and spoons to measure and add ingredients.
  • Use the measuring cups and spoons to explore size, length, and weight of other materials (such as sand, rice, cereal or flour) in the plastic tubs.
  • Share and talk about other ways to measure things. Show your child different scales for weighing things, such as the scale for weighing produce at the grocery store or the bathroom scale for weighing people. Keep track of your child’s growth by measuring his height every month. Show your child how to use objects to measure the length of different things. (For example, line cheerios along the edge of a book, and say, "the book is 15 cheerios long!")

Background Information:


Mathematical thinking involves:

  • Sorting objects by different traits (color, shape, or texture).
  • Using words to describe things and what they are used for.
  • Identifying and copying simple patterns.
  • Using words to talk about position (over, under, in, top, bottom, etc.) and order (first, next, last etc.).
  • Counting objects.
  • Using words to communicate an understanding of numbers and relationships (more, less, equal, etc.)

When your child starts school, she will be more likely to do well if she is able to do these things.


You can help build your child’s mathematical thinking skills by doing this activity.

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Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


We believe that every child in Maryland should have the foundational skills needed for success in school, career and life.

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