Most people know that kids learn best when they are having fun.
Hands-on math activities are one way to do that.
This hands-on measuring volume activity is guaranteed to be a huge hit, and it is super easy to set up.
Measuring Volume Activity
- Dry Rice or Beans
- Measuring Cups
- Plastic Containers of Different Shapes and Sizes
- Measuring Spoons (optional)
- Large Shallow Container (optional)
The multi-colored rainbow rice we have for sensory bin filler was perfect for this activity.
To create an invitation to explore measurement, I poured the rice into a large, shallow container and added our measuring cups, spoons, and several small plastic containers of various sizes.
Don’t have a large enough container? Just pour the rice into a container wide enough to scoop from.
Setting it up on a tablecloth will help with clean-up.
Measuring Cup Activities
We used our measuring volume math station for several days.
- The first day we used this math bin, I allowed the kids to freely explore the containers, pouring rice from one to the next.
- I listened in as they commented about how many of the smaller containers they thought it would take to fill a larger one.
- Eventually a few small toys were added to the bin, all part of the learning through play experience.
- The next day I set the math station up a bit differently, placing all the rice into a smaller container that the kids could scoop out of. The other containers and measuring cups were placed nearby.
- To introduce the idea of measuring volume, I asked them to figure out which of the containers could hold the most rice.
- Then I asked them to compare different pairs of containers to figure out which one would hold the most.
- They were surprised to discover several differently shaped containers that held the same amount.
- I allowed them to continue to explore on their own.
- On the third day of our measuring activity we focused on fractions.
- This time around we looked at the measuring cups and talked about which one held the most.
- Then I asked them to figure out how many 1/4 cup measuring cups it would take to fill the 1 cup measuring cup.
- After they saw it took 4, I asked them to use that knowledge to guess how many 1/2 cup and 1/3 cup measuring cups it would take to fill the 1 cup measuring cup.
- Then we tested their theories. It was a great hands-on way for them to see just what those fractions mean.
More Measurement Activities for Kids
- Allow the kids to use colored water to explore measurements. This is great to do outside on a warm day, or take the activity to the bathtub.
- Try other units of measurement. How many cups does it take to fill a pint container? What about a quart or a gallon?
- Take the measuring to a new level and add in weights. Use a digital scale to find out how much a quart of rice weighs. Does a quart of water weigh the same?
This simple hands-on measuring volume activity is a fun way to help kids visualize measurements and fractions.
For more fun hands-on learning ideas, check out our ABCs & 123s ebook.
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