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Measuring Activities for Toddlers

by Sarah Bourque, studioD

Toddlers are often more than ready to start learning and exploring basic math and science concepts. Rather than a stuffy sit down lesson that will surely make your child fidgety and bored, your little one will learn best through hands-on activities and play. There are several activities to choose from that will help you teach your toddler basic measurement concepts.

Length Measuring Activities

Standard rulers may be too advanced of a concept for your toddler to understand. To measure lengths, try tracing her hand, then cutting out several hand prints using the original as a guide. Color them together, then line them up to measure various items. Measure each other, favorite toys and furniture, counting together as you go. Talk about length and describe how you are measuring how long each item is. Besides hand print cut outs, try using wall borders from a teacher supply store, wooden blocks and string to measure with.


Cooking is a tangible activity that teaches toddlers how to measure liquids and solids. Your child will love making quick recipes like chocolate milk, moving up to more advanced recipes such as cookies or meatloaf. Always put safety first in the kitchen, and keep your little one away from anything hot or sharp. Let him hold, use and pour with the measuring cups and spoons. Talk to him about why it is important to measure the correct amounts, and how it will affect the taste of the recipe.

Little to Big Activities

Sorting items from smallest to largest gives your toddler an understanding of size measurement. Find fun and age appropriate sorting items like plastic cookie cutters, pom poms or plastic animals. Show him how to line them up from smallest to biggest, then let him have a go. Talk about measuring, and point to the objects as you verbally name them. Picking up smaller items like beads, always while supervised to prevent choking, will also allow your child to work on those fine motor skills.

Measuring Games

Create fun measuring games to capture your toddler's attention. Ask your child to close her eyes and hold out her hands. Place one item in each hand, making sure they are different from each other, such as an apple and a tangerine. Ask her which feels bigger, which is heavier and so on, and let her guess what the items are. Size scavenger hunts are another interactive measuring game she will love. Present an item, such as a wallet, and tell her to find something that is the same size.

About the Author

Sarah Bourque has been a freelance writer since 2006 and is based in the Pacific Northwest. She writes and edits for the local publisher, Pacific Crest Imprint and has written for several online content sites. Her work recently appeared in "The Goldendale Tourism and Economic Development Magazine" and "Sail the Gorge!" magazine. She attended Portland Community College where she studied psychology.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images