Math Helping Your Seven-Year-Old Understand Measurement and Sorting

The world is filled with ways to measure: length, height, weight, capacity, money, temperature and time…to name just a few. At age seven, children are often ready to move beyond basic ideas of measurement ("this block tower is taller than this one") and begin making measurements using numbers ("the table is as tall as eight pencils"). Measurement and data collection are important in science, art, cooking, sports and engineering — so there are plenty of ways to help your child learn at home!

Learning measurement through play:

Teach Measurement Through Baking

The kitchen is a great place to explore how we use measurements in real life. Have your child help you follow a recipe to measure exact amounts of the ingredients. Review the different units of measurement for baking, including cups, teaspoons and tablespoons.

Sunflower Biscuit Bones

In this interactive book, your child can learn how to follow a recipe and use measurement skills to bake bone shaped dog treats.

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Guessing Game: Nonstandard Units of Measurement

A great way to explore length and height is through nonstandard units of measurement. You can do this with any basic object that comes in a consistent size, such as drinking straws, paper clips, Popsicle sticks, Lego blocks or even gummy worms! Go around your home measuring how long or tall things are using one of these "units of measurement." For example, a chair might be eight straws tall, or 40 paper clips tall. Take notes. After they get the hang of it, see if they can make predictions before measuring.

Shadow Math

In this activity, your child can use shadows to learn about proportion, measurement, estimation, and multiplication.

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Make a Graph

Graphs are a fun way to visualize data. The National Center for Education Statistics has a great website that kids can use to enter information and create five different types of graphs and charts. Think about what information your child can collect and graph. How many shoes, shirts and pants do they have? What is the number of forks versus spoons versus knives in the utensil drawer? Graphing is a multistep activity: find a topic, collect data, sort data and make a visual depiction of that data, like a bar graph.

Prankster Planet: Reverse-a-ball

The Electric Company needs to stop Francine from reversing all the words on Earth. Your child can help save the words by practicing using and creating graphs to represent information.

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Talk About the Weather

Use a local weather chart to talk about how weather is measured — temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity. See if you can find patterns or make a prediction for next week’s weather. If you have an outdoor thermometer, explain how to read it. Have your child check the temperature at different times of day and different times of the year. Compare the temperature inside (using your thermostat) versus the temperature outside. Add some geography to the mix: use weather apps to compare temperatures in different parts of the world.

Weather Transformer

The Cat in the Hat and his friends want to play outside. Your child can adjust the temperature on the thermometer to change the weather conditions and discover what happens to backyard items like snowmen and bird baths when the temperature rises or falls.

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Create a Meal Budget

A great way to share real-world math with your child is to include them in meal planning. Using a budget, have your child help you plan to make a favorite meal. Create a shopping list together and have them write down prices (rounded to the nearest dollar) as you pick up each item in the store. Is the total amount within your budget?

Mega Mall

Peg is taking a trip to the mall and needs your child to help her pick out items for her list based on requested shape and color attributes. After finding the right objects, your child can then practice money skills by adding together the cost of the items and paying the correct amount at the register.

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Help Your Child Learn to Love Math with Odd Squad

Odd Squad focuses on a kid-run agency that saves the day whenever something unusual happens. Emphasizing problem solving, teamwork and perseverance in every strange and hilarious new assignment, agents use math to investigate weird problems -- and your child can help!

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Activity Finder: Learn With Your Seven-Year-Old

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