Handprint Measuring and Number Lines!

Now that C has turned 3, she has shown a lot of interest in beginning to learn more letters, sounds, writing, counting and typical “preschool” skills. To celebrate that we are doing more projects together, totally lead by her interests, and in a 100% playful way! I have two new series starting on the blog called Playful Maths and Playful Literacy, which will appear alongside our usual foray into finger painting, goop and sensory tubs. I hope you will enjoy them. Here is our first Playful Maths fun time!
  Measuring with handprints maths activity
C has recently become really interested in measuring things, due to all the midwife appointments I’ve been having and witnessing my tummy being measured with a tape each time! So we had a bit of fun creating and playing with our own unit for measurement- her hands!

I drew around one of her hands and then used that to draw another 9 handprints onto paper. It was important to use the initial hand outline so that each hand was exactly the same size and shape.

Then she decorated and coloured them (over the period of a day or two!) and I cut them out again.

I wrote a number from 1 to 10 on each hand and then laminated them. On the back I stuck some velcro sticky tape (one of my favourite ever craft/ activity products from teaching days!) and then found one of our many wrapping paper cardboard rolls left over from Christmas! Onto that roll I stuck a long strip of the velcro tape, ready to stick the hands onto.

We shuffled up the laminated, numbered cards and C sorted them all out, naming all the numbers and then sticking them onto the number line tube in the correct order. She chose to start at the right and work backwards, naming each one as she placed it on.

Handprint numberline counting activity

She was very pleased with herself when she finished it and wanted to take them all off and start all over again, immediately!

Then we found some items from around the house to measure, by laying the hand prints down next to them, top to bottom. She chose her boot first and that turned out to be the tricky measurement of 1 and a half hands, which was a great discussion point, but hard to understand!

Measuring objects with handprints

Then we laid out her scarf and she carefully placed the hands along it, to discover it was exactly 10 hands long…so MUCH longer than the boot! Great for comparing sizes and lengths and concluding which is biggest/ smallest.

Measuring with handprints maths activity

But most fun of all was to measure C herself! She turned out, rather surprisingly, to be only 8 hands long, so shorter than the scarf! Who would have guessed it?!

There are plenty more opportunities for playful fun and learning with these numbered hands! What else would you do?

See the rest of our Playful Maths archives here for more ideas.

Learning Links:
maths (problem solving, reasoning and numeracy): 

  • measuring using non-standard units
  • comparing lengths and heights
  • using the language of big/ bigger/ biggest and short/ shorter/ shortest etc to compare 2 or more objects
  • counting using 1:1 correspondence
  • ordering numbers from 1-5 and then 1-10 and beyond
  • recognising and naming numerals from 1-10
Cakie: 3 years, 4 months

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