Long before kids begin to learn how to measure with standard rulers they can experiment with nonstandard measurement. We can provide many different opportunities to measure with real objects during our preschool themes. As part of our Valentine’s Day activities we practiced measuring length with chocolate kisses. We used chocolate kisses, common objects, and a free printable recording sheet that you can grab after reading about how we used it.
FIND EVEN MORE VALENTINE’S DAY ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE LESSON PLANS
ABOUT VALENTINE’S DAY AND HEARTS.
Setting Up the Measuring Length with Chocolate Kisses Activity
Start by gathering some chocolate kisses and a few everyday objects that kids are familiar with. The free printable includes some objects to start with.
There is also a blank version of the recording sheet so that you (or the child) can choose different objects to measure.
Take Time to Explore Nonstandard Measuring
Before using the recording sheet give kids some time to experiment with nonstandard measurement on their own. Observe as they measure some objects that are not on the recording sheet and discuss the steps they are taking. As they do so, help clarify any misconceptions about how to measure using nonstandard objects.
The biggest challenge I usually see for kids is remembering to line the first object up right with the edge of the object.
Sometimes kids also need help remembering to place the objects end to end instead of leaving spaces between them.
Also discuss what happens if they can’t quite line up the final object. This is one of the limitations of nonstandard measurement, and we usually agree to place the last object that is the closest to the end of what we are measuring without going too far past.
Using the Nonstandard Measurement Recording Sheet
Because the focus of this activity is the hands-on nature of measuring with hands-on tools, I typically prefer to laminate or lace the recording sheet in a reusable pouch.
This allows kids to practice recording their data (and get some valuable number writing practice) but also saves paper and allows us to reuse the sheets.
Extend the Learning with Math Discussion
After kids measure and record their data be sure to help them make those important math connections by taking time to discuss their findings. Discuss topics like:
- how many kisses long each object is
- which object was the longest that they measured
- which object was the shortest they measured
- any objects that were the same length
- and if you are working with one more than one child who has a recording sheet, compare the lengths each child found. If needed remeasure objects to clarify any differences.
Below you can get the free printable Measuring Length with Chocolate Kisses set we used for this activity. It includes three options:
- One color and one black and white version of the recording sheet shown above.
- One version with a blank table for kids to draw or write the name of an object they choose to measure.
GET YOUR COPY OF THIS FREE PRINTABLE VALENTINE’S DAY ACTIVITY
Click the pink button below to get a free printable copy Measuring Length with Chocolate Kisses pages.
More Valentine Math
Get more hands-on math fun with our 28-page roll and color hearts math set. Practice early math skills with these fun games kids love.
PRINTABLE VALENTINE’S DAY THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
VALENTINE’S DAY THEME
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Learn about healthy hearts, symmetry and more in this week-long lesson plan set full of hands-on math, reading, & science learning activities for a preschool heart theme that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. Watch this short video to see just a few examples of the types of activities and printables included in this set:
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Originally published February 2014.
Updated January 2019.