Aug 17, 2012

Estimating, Measuring - Time, Distance, and Weight

Yesterday we did an active math activity. The kids started by estimating several things;

How long do you think it will take you to run 100 meters?
How far do you think you can jump?
How far do you think you can throw a tennis ball?
How long do you think you can stand on one foot?
How many shots will it take you to make a basket with a basket ball?
How tall do you think our house is?
How long do you think it will take you to fill up a one quart bottle with water?
How long do you think it would take to fill up a 22,500 gallon swimming pool with water?
How much do you think mom weighs? How much do you think grandma weighs?
Who do you think weighs more, mom or grandma?

 They really learned a lot from this simple activity.
"How far is 100 meters?" - That was the first question I was asked when we walked outdoors. Seeing it and running it is so much more effective than explaining it. We had a metric tape measure which was three meters long. While we measured the distance they snuck in some practice skip counting by threes. Once the distance was laid out they thought it was long and were surprised to learn that to run a kilometer they would have to complete the course ten times.

Our English unit tape measure was five feet long. Since they estimated their throwing and jumping distances in feet we used this one for measuring the results. This time they practiced skip counting by fives. 

I was curious what units they would use in their estimates. Even my five year old selected appropriate units for each catagory. Even though the we live in Europe and the first question asked how fast they thought they could run 100 METERS, they consistantly used English units for their estimates.

We recorded the actuals to compare with the estimates.

Did you know some people can stand on one foot for an hour without too much difficulty? I thought this would be a quick question to find the actual. Well my son declared my oldest daughter king of this activity. Even grandma joined in the fun.

They also learned that it takes a long time to fill a swimming pool with water and height can be measured by shadows. It takes practice to create estimats close to actuals. Overall this activity helped to develop a better understanding for estimating, distances and weight. Plus it was fun!


This post is linked to 
Saturday Show and Tell
Mums Make Lists


  1. what a fun little activity. Going to give it a try with my kiddos tomorrow :) Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Oh, what a great activity!! I always love the math ones. Thank you for sharing at Happy Family Times!!

  3. What a great series of activities! I love how you got right out there and did them to find out the actual amounts. So memorable for your kids. Thanks for sharing this with us at Trivium Tuesdays!

  4. What a great idea. I am going to share this on my facebook page. I love sharing ideas that gets families active.

    1. Oh that's great. I like that your blog encourages families to get out and get physical. It's so important.


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