Try the following practices with preschool-aged children. Find out how home visitors can put these practices to work with families.
- Provide materials that encourage children to explore measurement, including standard and non-standard measuring tools.
- Encourage children to estimate and check measurements (e.g., “How many cups would it take to fill this pitcher with water?”).
- Use literature (e.g., Goldilocks and the Three Bears) to illustrate measurement concepts, discuss the concept of size, and use comparison vocabulary.
- Plan activities that use measurement; for example:
- Using same-size sticks to keep equal distance between plants when gardening
- Identifying measuring cups and spoons and demonstrating measuring exact amounts when baking
- Use language that compares quantities (e.g., more than, less than, same as) and measurement terms to identify differences in attributes (e.g., long/longer/longest; short/shorter/shortest; heavier/lighter).
Home visitors can support parents in identifying, adapting, and trying the practices listed above during home visits and group socializations. Here are more ideas.3
- Encourage parents to use measurement terms and comparison vocabulary in the language(s) they know best.
- For example, parents can play a game in which children find objects around the home that are “longer than,” “heavier than,” or “taller than” a particular object.
- Talk with parents about ways they can involve their child in everyday measurement experiences, such as cooking, gardening, grocery shopping, and tracking height and weight as the child grows.
- Explain to parents that young children may become familiar with tools such as a scale, a measuring tape or ruler, or a thermometer, but are not expected to know how to read and use these tools without adults’ guidance.
1California Department of Education, California Preschool Curriculum Framework Volume 1 (Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education, 2010), 274–278, Measurement, http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/documents/psframeworkkvol1.pdf [PDF, 8.8MB].
2National Head Start Family Literacy Center (NHSFLC), High Five Mathematize: An Early Head Start and Head Start Math Resource Guide (Washington, DC: HHS, ACF, OHS, NHSFLC, 2010), 192, 54, https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/publication/high-five-mathematize.
3California Department of Education, California Preschool Curriculum Framework Volume 1 (Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education, 2010), 279–280, Measurement, http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/documents/psframeworkkvol1.pdf [PDF, 8.8MB].
Last Updated: August 24, 2022