Practicing the math skills of learning how to compute area and perimeter is important because it is a skill that your child will use in their everyday life. Perimeter is when you calculate the measurement around an object and area is when you measure the square units inside the object. In this teaching blog, Teaching with a Mountain View ,there are good visual aids you can use with your child to begin introducing the concept of computing area and perimeter.
Recently, I have used these skills in my own life to figure out the footprint of a new couch making sure it would fit in to our space before purchasing it, in a conversation with a new college student about how best to utilize the space in her small dorm room, and in a discussion on adding a vertical growing area to our fall garden. Practicing this skill is easy to incorporate at home with the following fun hands-on projects.
Simple project ideas could include straw/pipe cleaner polygons and Cheez-it® math. For the straw and pipe cleaner activity, cut the straw into different lengths and have your child use the pipe cleaners to piece them together into a simple polygon. Then they can measure the sides and figure out the perimeter and area. In Cheez-it math you give you child a set number of Cheez-its to build a polygon and then they calculate the area and perimeter. Then, you can ask them to make another one and they can compare and contrast how the same number of Cheez-it’s can make shapes with both the same and different perimeter and area.
What activities do you do at home that you could incorporate teachable moments about perimeter and area? Look to the next post in this series about ideas to learn about perimeter and area with your child’s bedroom layout.
Photo from Teaching with a Mountain View