Let’s explore the concept of size in a fun way, using candy canes as a non standard measuring activity!
Candy cane math activity non standard measuring
Learning about size is an important concept in maths, and in life. Many practical aspects of everyday life require us to understand, estimate, and sometimes accurately measure sizes: when we slice a loaf to make lunch for our family, when we drive and park a car, when we buy furniture – to name just a few.
In early math learning we want our children to become familiar and confident with simple aspects of measuring and this candy cane measuring activity will help support the development of these skills.
:: candy canes (large or mini)
:: selection of objects to measure
Begin with two objects of different lengths: perhaps a banana and a toy car. Chat with your children about which is bigger, which is smaller. How big are they? What words can you use to describe their size? You can use lots of mathematical language here: big, small,
bigger, smaller, tiny, huge, long, short.
Then introduce the idea of measurement. If you wanted to ask someone to bring you a banana or a car of a particular size, how could you tell them which size to give you? What could you use to measure your banana or car? Before we move on to using rulers or tape measures we can learn about the concept of measurement using non-standard measures. Let’s try with candy canes!
How many candy canes tall is your banana? What about your car? Lay out candy canes alongside them and count how many each measures.
Ask your children to work alone, in pairs or as a group to measure other things around the room in candy canes.
Can they guess – estimate – how many candy canes long things are? Then they can measure them to see if they were accurate.
How many candy canes tall are they?
They can collate their findings on a sheet of paper, as a simple grid or table.
How to extend this activity
You might like to extend this activity by collating results and showing them as a bar or line graph.
You can also offer rulers and tape measures and talk about how they provide a standard measurement unit. How does a candy cane compare to a centimetre or inch?
Download your complete Candy Cane Unit
A super fun and festive unit of learning! This kit gives you everything you need to teach an engaging program of activities all based around candy canes. With ideas for math, literacy, science, play, sensory, arts and crafts your children will love learning all through the holiday season.
:: over 60 pages of lessons, activities, and printables
:: a complete unit of candy cane themed math, science, literacy, arts and crafts, sensory, and play
:: materials lists and bonus printables make it so easy!
:: everything planned for you, so you can enjoy it as much as your children do
:: fun and festive, and packed with engaging learning
:: created with children aged 4 to 8 in mind