Hands-On Perimeter Activity: Perimeter Lab

Measurement is more than just grabbing a ruler and measuring the length of an object. There’s width, weight, circumference, area, perimeter, and more, so much more.

I love measurement activities because they’re so often hands-on activities, and this idea is no exception.

This perimeter activity is a fun invitation you can quickly set-up so your child can practice measuring and calculating.

Explore measurement with this simple hands-on perimeter activity for kids, a Perimeter Lab math invitation. They'll measure, calculate, and have fun.

So, grab a few items and let’s create a Perimeter Lab.

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Explore measurement with this simple hands-on perimeter activity for kids, a Perimeter Lab math invitation. The'll measure, calculate, and have fun.

Set-up your perimeter activity

Set-up is so easy!

First, you’ll need some measurement tools: a ruler, pencil, and your perimeter lab recording sheet.

Click this link to download your perimeter lab recording sheet.

You’ll also need a variety of things to measure. Choose items of various sizes that are rectangular or square. Look for books, boxes, board or card games. You could also cut pieces of paper into different sized squares or rectangles.

Explore measurement with this simple hands-on perimeter activity for kids, a Perimeter Lab math invitation. The'll measure, calculate, and have fun.

How to find the perimeter of an object.

Does your child already know how to find the perimeter or are they just learning?

If they already know, set them loose with this math invitation for a fun way to review perimeter.

But, if they need a little help, use the recording sheet to walk them through the process. First, record the name of the object you’re measuring. Then grab the ruler. You’ll want to measure side A, side B, side C, and side D. (See the picture above for reference.) Record all the measurements on the sheet. Add all the sides together to find the perimeter of the object.

Explore measurement with this simple hands-on perimeter activity for kids, a Perimeter Lab math invitation. The'll measure, calculate, and have fun.

Have fun with this perimeter activity

Since we’re just grabbing random objects to measure, you may want to alter this perimeter activity just a bit to fit with your child’s ability.

Depending on your child’s ability, you may want to have them round their measurements to the nearest inch or half-inch. If they’re comfortable with fractions or decimals, they can use more specific measurements.

If all you want to do is get comfortable with calculating perimeter, then getting exact measurements isn’t necessary.

Explore measurement with this simple hands-on perimeter activity for kids, a Perimeter Lab math invitation. The'll measure, calculate, and have fun.

Check your work.

There’s no answer key to this project. You can pre-measure all the items (if you really want to) to create an answer key. Or, just look over the process and the answers to see if your child is correctly figuring perimeter. You can also have your child double-check their work.

Correct answers are important in math, but so is learning the process. Know the process first and then focus on finding the correct measurement later.

A Perimeter Lab is a fun way to learn the process behind calculating perimeter. You’re doing real-life measurements and not just looking at a drawing on a piece of paper. It’s fun, it’s hands-on, and it’s a great way to extend learning at home.

Explore measurement with this simple hands-on perimeter activity for kids, a Perimeter Lab math invitation. They'll measure, calculate, and have fun.

You may also like one of these math activities:

Math Paper Plate Games

Measuring with Hearts

Number Line Secret Codes

Architecture STEM: Area and Perimeter City at Teach Beside Me

Fun hands-on math resources

When we practice math at home, we love to play games. These games are so much fun and a great hands-on activity. Plus, it’s a great way to combine a family activity with learning. Check out some of these awesome math games below:


Are you looking for more kids activities?

Join our fun Facebook community, Creative Family Fun for Busy Families, for daily activities that are great for kids and families. We’ll chat, share, and have fun. It’s a safe and private place to share ideas for family and kids activities.

I’d love for you to join me! Just click the link below, request to join, and answer the questions (they’re easy, I promise). Come join the fun! Join the Creative Family Fun for Busy Families community here.

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Terri is a writer and mom of two elementary-aged girls. She has a passion for learning and is always looking for ways to make learning fun. You can find her here writing about fun learning activities, art, craft, and family fun ideas.

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