Measures of length are an important part of calculating. Children already start with it when they are pouring two cups of water at the water table in groups. Over the years it gets more and more difficult as it becomes more and more theoretical. Since group 5, children come into contact with millimeters, centimeters, inches, decimeters, hectometers and kilometers for the first time. It will certainly happen that your son or daughter asks for help. For parents, the sizes are so self-evident that it is sometimes difficult to explain them properly. How can you best help your child with measurements and lengths?

Tip 1: Have it measured with the hands
It is not very accurate, but it does give a practical picture of the measures of length. Measuring with the hands is the basic and the easiest step for kids. How many hands can you put next to each other on the table? If you know how wide the table is, you can give your child an idea of how long a meter is. For example, a table can be 15 hands.
To show that there are different lengths, you can also use your forearms. That way it becomes clear that you can measure the same thing in different ways. But don’t forget to tell them that you have to convert the units.

Tip 2: How big is it?
Following the first tip you can teach your child how thick, wide or large something is. You can use the human body for this. Teach your child that a millimeter is the same thickness as a nail and that an inch is roughly the width of a nail.

One foot is roughly the length from the tip of the thumb to the beginning of the wrist. A meter is a very big step. This works fine for smaller sizes, but at some point the larger sizes also come into play.

A decameter is 10 meters: '10 very large steps' for your kid. You can demonstrate this by showing the distance from the front door to the back door, if you live in a terraced house. A hectare is ten times as much: the distance from your house to a neighbor.

To give an awareness of kilometers, you record a point in the vicinity. That could be school or the supermarket, for example. Thanks to Google Maps you can also display this on a map, which also develops some map awareness.

Tip 3: Grab the measuring tape
Show each measure of length on a tape measure or on the tape measure. Show that 10 small lines (millimeters) fit in a centimeter. Then it becomes logical that 10 centimeters fit in a decimeter: or 10 times of millimeters. There are 10 decimeters in a meter. By teaching this, you can teach your child a schedule. You can easily get help from online tools for quick experiments. A simple inches to centimeter converter is quick and easy to understand for all ages. Sure they will have great fun on practicing online.

Tip 4: Can the lady measure by the centimeter?
Research by David Mitchell shows that memory strategies and mnemonics work well for children. The mnemonic 'Can the lady measure by the centimeter' is often used for measures of length. Take the first letters of the words:

This sentence can help in color. Each measure of length then gets a separate color. Hang the piece of paper in a visible place. Consider, for example, the refrigerator door, next to your child's bed or on the toilet. This makes it easy to memorize the sentence.

It is important to remember that each step to the right is x10, and each step to the left is 10.

Tip 5: Should I multiply or divide?
You can add arrows to the schedule, but this will have a negative effect on some children. It quickly looks too difficult, or your child may not understand very well what those arrows stand for. Therefore, you can also teach your child the following rules:

If I have to convert to a smaller size, the number gets bigger. The word 'larger' contains the letter r, just like in 'times'. So I have to do 'times'. The comma moves to the right and zeros are added.

If I have to convert to a larger size, the number becomes 'smaller'. This contains the letter 'l', just like in 'parts'. So I have to share. Zeros are subtracted and the comma moves to the left.

Tip 6: Also learn grams and liters
The same idea also works for grams and liters. Instead of the word 'meter' you use the word 'gram' or 'liter'. The representation of weight, quantity or length remains the same in all cases. It is good to know that at school almost never calculations are made with kiloliters, hectoliters and deca-liters.

Make sure that the concept of length measurements is clear before starting with grams and liters. Children differ, so it also differs per child how long it takes before height measurements are self-evident.

Author's Bio: 

Misty Jhones