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By Louise RichmondTeaching Assistant in a Reception class

Help children to recognise how they have ‘grown’ and how keeping healthy and exercising is important for growth


Brother and sister


In this article:

  1. Measure me!
  2. Look what I can do
  3. Cross-curricular activities

Measure me!

Discover who is tallest and shortest

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy – Shape, Space and Measures

Development matters: Begin to categorise objects according to properties, such as shape or size (22–36 months); Order two or three items by length or height (40–60+ months).

Early learning goal: Use language, such as ‘circle’ or ‘bigger’ to describe the shape and size of solids and flat shapes.

What you need

Large piece of paper (big enough for a child to fit on); pencils and pens; paints; items that can be used for measuring, such as lollipop sticks, straws, and blocks.

What to do

Explain to the children that you want to find out who is the tallest and shortest in the group. Invite children to suggest ideas of how you can do this. Encourage them to stand back to back and begin the process of establishing who is the tallest and who is the shortest.

Once you have established the tallest and shortest children, ask each of them to lie on a piece of paper. Draw around both children to create their outlines. In small groups, paint each of the outlines to create a life-size painting of each child. When they are dry cut them out.

Use the life-size paintings as a basis for simple measuring activities. Invite children to use a range of items to measure the height of each child. Make sure that the children measure each painting using the same resource to help them to make comparisons and begin to understand the relationship between measurement and number.

As the children are carrying out the measuring activities, talk about the importance of measuring fairly, starting from the same point and placing items end to end – not leaving gaps between them.

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