When children compare objects in their environment with terms like “bigger," "smaller," "wider" and "taller," they are laying the foundation for understanding measurements. A fun way to practice measurement skills with your child is by building a house for a toy or for a favorite fictional character like the Cat in the Hat!
Before You Play
Before the activity, prompt your child to compare objects’ sizes with questions like, “Are my feet bigger than yours?” Compare! See if you and your child can measure different objects using both sets of feet as non-standard units. How long is your child’s bed? 10 of their feet? 20? Ask your child, “Did it take more of my feet or your feet to measure your bed?” Why?
- Construction paper
- Child-safe scissors
- Non-standard unit of measurement (paperclip, penny, etc.)
- Crayon or marker
- Finger puppets printable (PDF)
- The Cat in the Hat and his pals Sally and Nick are tired after a full day of adventures and need a place to rest. Ask your child, "Will you help to make two houses, one that is just the right size for the Cat and another that is just the right size for Sally and Nick?"
- Cut out the Cat, Sally, and Nick finger puppets from the finger puppets printable.
- Give your child a small, non-standard unit of measurement, such as a paperclip, penny, or small block.
- Tell your child to measure the puppets and then to use the same tool to measure and trace out two square or rectangular pieces of construction paper that are the right height and width for each character.
- Help your child to cut the square “houses,” then cut out two triangular pieces of paper to glue on as the roofs.
- Your child can use crayons or markers to draw windows and doors on the house and to decorate it. Be sure to measure the door carefully so it is the right height for the character!
- Help your child to compare the two houses by asking questions like, "Is the Cat's house bigger or smaller than Sally and Nick's house? Whose house is wider? Which house has the biggest door?"
This craft comes to you from the creators of The Cat and the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
Iowa PBS STEAM Activities and Crafts provided by PBS KIDS Parents.