Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons 12



This fab measuring and estimating with ribbons activity is brought to you by Sara-Jayne from Keep Up with the Jones family.  Sara-Jayne is a fellow mum to boys, she has three under six and is a Junior School Teacher.  This post is part of our learning with manipulatives series.

Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons. Children love using tape measures and rulers and this fun activity is a great introduction to estimating and sequencing

Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons – A Simple Activity

This is a fun activity that my boys love.  Ribbons and twines are great for kinaesthetic learners and keep smaller children engaged whilst older children are challenged by the use of measuring equipment.  You can use non-standard measurements if you don’t have a ruler or tape measure – straws, lollipop sticks, anything straight – and then when your little ones are ready to start reading measurements, you can graduate to using rulers.

Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons. Children love using tape measures and rulers and this fun activity is a great introduction to estimating and sequencing

In our house, we start this activity without the ruler or tape and estimate or guess which little bundles are going to be the longest and why – and then we start measuring.

Using a Ruler/Tape Measure

Reading a ruler can be tricky. The little notches and striations seem meaningless – and explaining centimetres and millimetres before we even consider inches can be difficult at best for little brains.  We start with whole centimetres as we use the decimal system in schools and society and go from there.  Whole and half centimetres come next, and then millimetres and decimal points follow after that. There’s scope for talking about rounding up and down, and estimating.

Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons. Children love using tape measures and rulers and this fun activity is a great introduction to estimating and sequencing

Tricky Issues

Estimating is difficult for children to revert to after learning to measure as they have a natural tendency to want to be “right” and feel that estimates are wrong – and need to be correct.  Reassure your little one that estimates are just guesses and are fun to make.  It’s fun to be surprised sometimes, and there’s no need to be right all of the time.

Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons. Children love using tape measures and rulers and this fun activity is a great introduction to estimating and sequencing

Equipment

For our activity, all you need is varying lengths of ribbon, string or twine, and a ruler or tape measure.

How To Use The Baskets

Wind the ribbons up into little spools and place them into a container – we had these little picnic baskets at home that made for fun little holders.

Each child has a container or ribbon and then the activity is open ended.

Empty out the spools and estimate which will be the longest ribbon or twine. Why do they think that?  Place them in order of which they think is longest to shortest.

Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons. Children love using tape measures and rulers and this fun activity is a great introduction to estimating and sequencing

Using the ruler or tape measure, take their estimate of the longest and show how to start at the 0 and stretch the ribbon out until the end.  Think about what they should do if the ribbon is longer than the ruler (if you are using one).

Children who are comfortable writing numerals can record their findings in any way they like. My boys enjoy drawing the ribbons [make sure you use ribbons of different colours in this event] and writing their numbers by them.

Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons. Children love using tape measures and rulers and this fun activity is a great introduction to estimating and sequencing

There are so many ways to explore measuring, estimating and rounding with rulers and tape measures – take the lead from your little one and support them in their exploration.

Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons. Children love using tape measures and rulers and this fun activity is a great introduction to estimating and sequencing

See our other learning with manipulatives posts here:

 Other great measuring activities

W is for Whale {Measuring Activities} from Preschool Powol Packets
Watermelon Seed Spitting Measurement from Schooling a Monkey
Measuring Distance with Water Guns from Teach me Mommy
Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons from Mum in the Madhouse
Just How Big Were the Dinosaurs? from Bambini Travel
Measuring Toys from Play & Learn Every Day
Grow a Duck Weighing Activity from Something 2 Offer

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