7 Manipulatives For Learning Measurement Concepts

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Did you scroll down to see how long the article was before you started reading? Do you usually count the pieces of chocolate or toffees to make sure that you and your sibling get an equal amount? Do you see the time to ensure that you and your friend get to play the video game for the same amount of time?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then you use measurement in your everyday life. Somehow without even realizing it, measurement, a concept that involves using logical reasoning that forms an important part of an individual’s mathematical skills, has become an integral part of our lives that helps us make the most simple to the more complex of decisions.

If it is calculating income tax and monthly budget or dividing a fair amount of candies, decision-making with the help of measurement of different attributes is employed by both adults and children alike. This is why this article highlights various manipulatives that can be used with children to help them better understand and employ measurement in their academic as well as personal lives.

Let’s learn measuring with manipulatives

From area and perimeter to learning ratio and proportion, manipulatives are an excellent way of teaching a topic as important as measurement. The difficulty level can be easily controlled, reducing or increasing it to best suit the needs of the learner. Some useful manipulatives to start learning measurement from a young age include:

1. Gallon Measurement Set

Gallon Measurement Set

Measurement is used in various settings for different activities. This measurement set includes cups and beakers of various sizes, with clear markings for some of the common measurements of liquids like a gallon, half a gallon, quarter, and pint.

The educator can engage the students in an activity where a group of five students is given one measurement set with a recipe sheet to mix various colored liquids in a definite quantity.

If the students are successful in properly mixing these liquids in the correct quantity, their reward could be the resultant liquid which could have a different color altogether. For example, if the students mix a red-colored liquid with a blue one, they will get a purple color liquid. This won’t only help students learn how to properly measure liquids but also about color mixture theory.

2. Measuring Worms

Measuring Worms

These squishy worms will be a sure shot hit with the students, making learning both fun and interesting. This set contains a total of 72 worms in 6 different colors and four sizes.

The educator can divide the class into groups of four to five students each and give each group a ruler and a random size. The task of the group then can be to find all the worms of the said size, for example, 4 centimeters.

With this activity, the students will not only learn how to measure using a ruler and different units of the metric system, but if the educator decides to ask students to sort on the basis of color, this can also become one of the activities that can help them revise their color identification and sorting skills.

3. Mix and Measure Activity Set

 Mix and Measure Activity Set

Packed with three self-standing spoons, 6 cups, a bowl, a scale, and ten activity cards, this is the ultimate measurement manipulative. All of the tools are specifically designed to be chunky, stable, and colorful to be perfect for the use of learners from the ages of three and above.

Children can learn to do several things by either measuring and mixing the materials of their own choice or the ones provided with the set. Little learners can measure various kinds of soap with water and mix them together in the perfect quantity to make bubble water.

This will not only make learning measurement interesting but help children make some of the things they enjoy, like ice creams, bubbles, juice, cookie dough, etc. 

4. GeoStix Deluxe Set

. GeoStix Deluxe Set

This set contains a set of 100 sticks, among which are 80 straight and 20 curved ones in 10 different color-coded lengths. The set also contains two protractors and 16 double-sided activity cards.

This set will help students master their angle-measuring skills. The educator can divide the class into groups of 4 to 5 students each. Each group can be given a set along with activity cards with a shape drawn on them. The task of the students can be to use the sticks to make the portrayed shape and then measure each angle of the shape they have made.

They can further make computations on these angles, like finding the sum of the interior angles of the figure, finding the sum of the exterior angles, etc. This set will be helpful in teaching students various geometrical measurements and concepts.

5. Learn to Measure Activity Set

Learn to Measure Activity Set

Packed with rainbow fractional measuring cups, bucket balance, and math link cubes, this set will help little learners understand and apply various concepts of height, weight, volume, capacity, and length.

This activity set can be used by little learners at home or by educators in the classroom. The set contains twenty activities that require players to actively apply themselves and learn from hands-on experience with the material. Additionally, the educators can propose different activities in the class. For instance, the educator can divide the class into groups, give them different objects like an eraser and sharpener with their dimensions and ask them to calculate which object will have the higher volume.

The students can calculate the volumes manually and then test their results in the balance. Whichever group of students can get the highest number of computations correct can be awarded attractive stationery. This fun-packed set is sure to make its way into children’s playtime, making it educational along with exciting.

6. Kaodezhu Dinosaur Math Balance

Kaodezhu Dinosaur Math Balance

Bringing to little learners the fun of learning and practicing two concepts at once, this balance requires correctly balancing the number of dinosaurs on one side with the number placed on the other side.

Packed with dinosaur balance, 10 numbers to be used in the form of weights, and a deck of cards containing 32 cards and 20 little dinosaurs, this game, when used as a manipulative promises to be the ultimate learning and fun companion. It can be used both by the learners at home who can try to solve the puzzles given on the cards by visually representing their questions and then solving them.

This can also be used in the classroom where the educator gradually adjusts and changes its difficulty level, first starting with questions just asking the learner to match the number of dinosaurs with the number weight to eventually asking them to solve various questions and perform operations like addition and subtraction on the number weight to correctly represent the answer with the dinosaurs and restore the balance.

This game has a vast variety of uses and can be used with both novice and experienced measurement learners. When used creatively, it promises to be simultaneously fun and challenging for all.

7. Learning Resources Time Activity Set

Learning Resources Time Activity Set

Another important component of measurement is learning how to measure the hours and minutes displayed by the clock to tell the time. This 41-piece set comes equipped with various forms of activities to help the learners achieve proficiency in all aspects of being able to measure and tell the time.

This set, which can be effectively used as a manipulative in both the classroom and at home, comes with a clock with moveable hands, a writable clock, a deck of 24 double-sided puzzle cards, 12 double-sided writable cards, and 3-time dice. The educator can either have the learners roll the dice and ask them to match the time on the moveable hand’s clock, ask them to put together the pieces of puzzle cards that display the same time in digital and analog forms, use the writable cards to teach how to measure the time taken by various tasks and putting them together to make a time table.

When used in the classroom, the educator can challenge various teams of students to solve all the puzzle cards as fast as they can to win the prize. They can even hold a contest to see which team is able to find various tasks of the day cards hidden around the classroom, measure the time, and put them together in the correct order. This manipulative will make learning about the essential concept of measuring time interesting and fun.


Measurement is an integral part of our lives, something we employ to make both big and small decisions, often without even realizing it. Little learners can effectively learn this concept not only with the help of manipulatives highlighted in the blog but also with online games and activities as well. Inculcating the concept early in the children’s playtime as well as educational routine can help them get used to logical reasoning and learn various types of measurement and how to use them, both in the classroom setting as well as in real life.

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