Did you know measurement concepts begin long before preschool? You probably hear things like, “My car is longer”, or “I’m taller than you” fairly often in a preschool classroom. That’s why we’ve created these measurement lesson plans for preschoolers… so we could further explore concepts of measurement with hands-on and exciting activities. Our lesson plans also include a detailed scope and sequence for the whole unit, making this math skill a breeze to plan for.
Measurement Activities for Preschoolers
When I sat down to create a preschool math curriculum, I focused heavily on ensuring that the lessons, activities, and centers were designed to develop the math skills of every. child.
I knew it needed to spiral and review key concepts multiple times throughout the year, gradually increasing in difficulty. This approach is ideal because it covers math topics throughout the entire year. This allows children more time for mastery and an opportunity to increase the rigor of each lesson.
The Daily Lessons in Preschool Math curriculum was born out of that need and today we are focusing on the seventh unit in the series, Daily Lessons in Measurement.
Children begin applying measurement ideas in their lives from a young age. They compare the size of their own toys or compare their height to their parents or other children. Measurement in preschool covers a large set of skills; everything from comparisons of height and weight to more and less, plus dabbling in the area of volume and capacity.
These preschool or kindergarten measurement lesson plans are perfect for helping you plan engaging and developmentally appropriate lessons and activities for your students without loads of prep and time.
FAQ About Teaching Measurement to Preschoolers
Most kids are eager to learn concepts of measurement since it’s easy to see real-life applications. Generally, children are introduced to the idea by making matches, comparing sizes, then trying out some non-standard measurement.
In preschool, it’s not developmentally appropriate to use rulers and other standard forms of measurement. Rather, focus on beginning concepts and foundational skills.
In preschool, measurement skills include:
> measuring height, length, and weight in non-standard units
> recognizing quantities that are more and less
> identify most and least in quantities and volume
> identify big, medium, and small, as well as the terms bigger and smaller
> ordering up to 5 objects by size in both ascending and descending order
As with all the other strands of mathematics, the study of measurement provides a foundation for more advanced concepts of measurement that will be learned in later years. These skills are all covered in the Daily Lessons in Preschool Mathematics Measurement Unit.
Measurement lesson plans for preschoolers should include a range of hands-on and engaging activities that are developmentally appropriate. They should be systematic and the skills should progress by targeting the skills listed above.
The Daily Lessons in Preschool Mathematics Measurement Unit includes everything you need to teach measurement skills to your preschooler and takes the guesswork out of teaching measuring skills to preschoolers.
Measurement Hands-On Supplies
This curriculum is designed to be low-prep and utilize the same supplies during each math unit. Buy it once, and use them over and over again for different learning purposes! Take a look at some of the resources we use for each unit and click each picture for more details. These items are staples for any early childhood math curriculum.
All About Measurement Lesson Plans
These measurement lesson plans for preschoolers are designed for up to a five-day-week program, but activities within a week can be removed and skipped for two or three-day-week programs. There are lots of pre-k measurement activities that develop measurement concepts, size comparison and ordering, and using different types of non-standard units to measure various items.
Discovery Activities/Math Photo Cards
The discovery activities are so much fun! Each week contains a real photograph or illustration for the children to interact with. The photo relates to the concept and encourages oral language and math vocabulary development. Plus, the vibrant photos expose children to different places, animals, and cultures. It’s easy to see that math really is everywhere in our daily lives!
The math photo card example below shows pairs of three different winter boots. This engaging photo invites young learners to compare sizes and heights, make connections to who might be wearing those boots, and make other connections to things that are large, medium, or small. Each photo card includes mathematical points, teaching tips, and engaging questions to encourage your children to think about each photo through a mathematical lens.
The daily dip is a review activity to reinforce previously taught skills. You will notice valuable teaching tips throughout the review lessons. These tips offer insight to help execute specific strategies in
the lessons. This section is optional depending on time and student needs but is certainly a valuable component of each day.
The photo below shows examples of the first week of the measurement unit. You’ll notice that the activities include subitizing, counting, and numeral recognition which were practiced in the previous units to ensure exposure and practice to essential math skills all year long.
Teach and Engage
The teach and engage section is a brand new daily lesson for your students packed with new learning. This component of the curriculum includes lots of modeling and student interaction. Each lesson includes a bonus section that offers tips on how to make the lesson more challenging and provides extensions for children who are ready for more difficulty.
Measurement Centers for Preschoolers
In these measurement activities for preschoolers, we have included lots of hands-on activities and games that invite kids to measure! Many of the games and centers use engaging manipulatives such as snap cubes and colored counters. Remember independent centers should always be supervised in preschool and kindergarten.
Animal Size Sequencing Cards
This animal size activity invites children to sequence and order by size from the very smallest to the biggest or vice versa. The goal of this measurement activity is to compare objects and encourage math vocabulary. If children have trouble with the three basic sizes (small, medium, large) then the additional two cards can be removed to further the focus on comparing only the three sizes.
Gumball Machine Quantities
This measurement center focuses on learning measuring skills including comparing sizes by height as well as comparing by quantity. Then, children will determine small, medium, and large sizing and discover how larger quantities result in a gumball with more quantity than its counterpart.
Making Height Tower Task Cards
Kids love to build towers and this measure-the-length game does not disappoint! Children draw a snap cube tower task card and then build a tower of matching height. After building some towers, it’s time to compare and discuss their findings! What happens when a tower has one more cube?
Measuring Height Task Cards
This center is all about measurement concepts for preschoolers! Using unifix cubes to measure each pencil, children will determine how many cubes it takes to measure the height of each task card. Using non-standard measurement is a great way to introduce concepts of measurement and help children order and make comparisons.
Making Length Trains Task Cards
Using snap cubes, this center invites preschoolers to build trains that match the length of the cube trains. This center not only helps with one to one correspondence but also helps children see how length looks different based on the number of snap cubes. These task cards are designed for sparking math conversations with young children about their mathematical observations, as well.
Measuring Length Task Cards
This measurement math center invites the child to measure the different images using non-standard units such as snap cubes or paper clips to determine how long an item is. Plus, there are a different task card types including rainbows and pencils.
Making Weight Task Cards
This preschool math center focuses on making weight. Preschoolers learn that larger animals have larger mass and require many cubes to balance the scale. There are a variety of different animals represented all the way from an elephant to tiny fish. This center is not designed for the actual use of a balance scale but rather to recognize the difference in weight based on size.
Comparing Weight Task Cards
In this hands-on measurement activity, preschoolers are invited to match the snap cubes to show the difference in weight on each side of the scale. If you have a balance scale, it is a great addition to this center. Children can physically add the indicated number of snap cubes on each side of the scale to model which side is lighter vs. heavier.
Reading the number sentence aloud is very important. For example, “We have 6 cubes on the left side and 2 cubes on the right side. Which side is heavier? Lighter? Let’s say that together, 6 cubes is heavier (or more) than 2 cubes.”
Math to Literacy Connections
We have also included eight optional literacy activities that infuse math picture books. Children learn best through colorful illustrations and storytelling. These eight picture books bring measurement to life and build upon other math skills (counting, colors, patterns) as well. Click the book covers to read more about each book.
Grab these fantastic books about measuring here!
Get Your Measurement Lesson Plans for Preschoolers Here
The daily lessons in measurement are completed and ready to use! These preschool measurement lesson plans include daily lessons, centers, activities, and even literacy connections. This measurement math unit is all you’ll need to teach measurement to your preschoolers.
Looking for a Preschool Math Curriculum for the Whole Year?
We’ve got you covered! From sorting to graphing, counting to shapes, this preschool math curriculum is loaded with engaging activities, literacy connections, and daily photo cards to spark joy in math.
I am an educator, book enthusiast, and a stay at home momma to two precious and long-awaited littles. My degree is in Early Childhood Education and Curriculum and Instruction and I have spent the last 15 years working with young children. I feel very fortunate to have this time to watch my babies grow and I can’t wait to share my passion for learning and reading with you!