Measuring with Bear Counters

Measuring with bear counters is an excellent way to introduce preschoolers to measurement. It even gives kids lots of practice with counting and number recognition.

Measuring with bear counters to teach preschoolers to measure items with nonstandard units of measurement. An effective preschool math activity.

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This post is part of a new series I am involved in called Learning with Manipulatives. Each Tuesday, a group of bloggers will be sharing hands-on activities you can do with a specific manipulative. This week we are featuring rainbow counters!

Measuring objects may seem a bit boring for young kids, but when given a chance to measure their favorite toys and use a fun, nonstandard unit of measurement like counting bears, children will enjoy this activity more than you would expect!

Supplies Needed:

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Setting up the Measurement Activity

  1. Collect about 5 toys or items that you think your kids would enjoy measuring. You can even have them pick them out.
  2. Place the items and your counting bears on a table. Keep the small pieces of paper nearby so that you can record the measurements for each toy.

Measuring with Bear Counters

I showed my son the toys and the bear counters and told him that he was going to have the chance to measure his toys and see how big (or small) they were. He was going to line the bear counters up one by one next to the toys and see how many bear counters long or wide each toy was.

Preschool measurement activity. A fun hands-on math activity for young kids.

To begin, he started with a truck. His natural inclination was to measure the car from front to back. When he had all the bears lined up from end to end, I asked him to count out how many bears long the truck was. Then I wrote the number on a small post it note and placed it next to the truck. This way we could compare the measurements of all of the toys.

Measuring with nonstandard units of measurement

Measurement activity for young kids.

He continued to measure the length of each item with the counting bears and we recorded each one. When we were done I asked a few questions to get him thinking critically:

  1. Which toy is the longest?
  2. Which toy is the shortest?
  3. Can you put the toys in order from smallest to largest?

Measurement lesson for young kids. Teaching kids how to measure objects.

He was happy to find that Iron Man was the longest toy! Technically, I think it would be the tallest, but that is a lesson for another day.

Here are some more great activities you can do with bear counters!

Graphing with Rainbow Bears from Still Playing School

Rainbow Bears Preschool Letter Cards from Learning 2 Walk

Size Order Rainbow Bear Cards from Life Over C’s

Color and Size Sorting with Rainbow Counters from Line Upon Line Learning

Alphabet Formation Compare Bears from Adventures of Adam

Size and Color Sorting {Learning with Rainbow Bears} from Squiggles and Bubbles

Animal Counters Sensory Bin & Color Sort from Raising Little Superheroes

Color Graphing with Rainbow Bears from Schooltime Snippets

Rainbow Bears Sensory Bin from Something 2 Offer

Counting More or Less with Farm Animal Rainbow Counters from Stir the Wonder

Rainbow Bears Addition Cards from The Kindergarten Connection

Rainbow Chain Link Toddler Color Matching from Sugar Aunts

Don’t forget to use #toolsforlearning on Instagram to share your Rainbow Bear & Counter learning activities!!