Investigate Methods of Measurement in Science & the Arts!

Ever wondered how much an elephant weighs? Or how long it takes to get to the moon? What about the temperature needed to turn batter into your favorite cookies? We measure the world around us in so many ways. Length, height, weight, time, temperature, speed and volume are just a few!

Methods of measuring and the data we collect are fundamental to expanding our knowledge in fields as varied as technology, art, medicine, and astronomy. By exploring how measuring helps us in our everyday lives we can introduce young children to important concepts. To start, join your child in describing things around them while you compare items in and out of the house using words like “long” and “short,” or “heavy” and “light.” Later, they’ll be able to apply numbers to their measuring. Try using nonstandard measurement tools like a pencil or shoe before breaking out your yardstick (“the rug is five shoes long”).

As their math skills continue to develop, they’ll maintain the same curiosity. Get kids involved in dinner prep by measuring out ingredients or start a journal to record what time the sun sets each day. Older children can investigate more complex topics, learning how different types of measurements can be combined to give us the building blocks of space travel or monitoring climate change. The things we can measure are endless!

Use the videos and activities below to start discovering how useful, and fun, measuring can be. Then, explore Learn Along Bingo sheets full of printable activities and everyday learning ideas for children grades Pre-K to 2!

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Explore Measuring & Mathematics

Measure, Yea, Measure with Justin Bieber | Sesame Street

Grades PreK-K
How much does an elephant weigh? And how tall is a shrimp? Justin Bieber and Elmo teach young learners about measuring in this song from Sesame Street!

Curious George: Measure Up

Grades PreK-K
George needs to figure out how to measure a building’s height in this video from Curious George: George Measures Up. An accompanying lesson plan is available to educators, while families can use the activity handout to explore simple measuring practices at home.

Calculating Speed | Cyberchase

Grades 3-8
In this video from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad has to find out exactly how fast each of Wicked’s three brooms can go. They set out to calculate the speed per second of each broom using the data they have from their speed tests over a period of five seconds.

Rubik’s Cube Volume

Grades 3-8
Reveal multiple ways to find volume using a Rubik’s cube! This video focuses on modeling volume and explaining why two different volume equations will give you the same answer.

Graffiti Art: Scaling

Grades 6-8
Learn about the mathematics behind the work of a graffiti artist as he describes how scale factor and measurement are an integral part of the mural design process in this video from Center for Asian American Media.

Measuring Redwood Giants

Grades 6-12
A forest ecologist is leading a team of scientists as they climb and measure some of the last and tallest old growth redwoods in California. In this QUEST video produced by KQED, learn about their goal which is to learn how these ancient giants have historically responded to climatic shifts and to monitor how they are being impacted today by global warming.

Activities, Games & More

Practice Math While Making Peg’s Perfect Pizza

Grades PreK-3
Baking with your child is a great way to introduce math concepts like counting, measuring and telling time. Try this yummy recipe from Peg+Cat for your own perfect pizza!

Children’s Books About Measuring

Grades PreK-5
How much milk should I use in my pancake recipe? How deep is that puddle? How far is it to grandma’s house? We measure things every day: time, distance, even ingredients. This booklist for children ages 3-10 explores all sorts of measurement, including standard and non-standard measuring tools, the English and metric systems, and even how people measured things in Ancient Egypt!

How Do You Measure Up? – Martha Speaks | PBS KIDS Lab

Grades K-5
Explore the types of measurements that are used everyday with Martha Speaks. This interactive story focuses on discussing what qualifies as a measurement and how each type of measurement can be used in everyday life. After the story, children can answer review questions in the interactive quiz.

Temperature Scavenger Hunt | Cyberchase

Grades K-5
This Cyberchase at-home activity, available in English and Spanish, helps kids explore how different things can make a place hotter or colder. Examine differences in temperature by using a thermometer to measure the temperature of cups of water placed in different locations around your home.

How Long Is a Minute?

Grades 3-5
Track how well you can judge how long a minute lasts. This interactive exercise focuses on estimating lengths of time and reading a table.

Tune-up: Comparing Measurements | Skills on Demand

Grades 6-12
How do inches compare to centimeters, or ounces to kilograms? In this short practice, students review comparisons between English and metric measurements using interactive activities.

Learn Along Bingo

With Learn Along Bingo, children can view, explore, and play as they learn alongside their PBS Kids friends on the PBS Kids 24/7 channel. We hope your family will use it to inspire learning each and every day.

This time, we’re learning the basics of measuring! Children explore measuring objects with standard and nonstandard units of measurement.

Grades PreK-K

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!

Grades 1-2

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!

For even more games and educational resources for young learners, go to the Measure Up! Collection on PBS Kids for Parents.