# Metric System Activities for Home

Teaching children about measurement can become complicated because of the use of both the metric ( System for International Units: SI) and the Customary system used in the United States. The concept of measurement using the Customary system is typically taught first, followed by the metric system.  The metric system is very important to learn because it is used by almost every other country in the world, in the medical and technology professions, as well as being used for food packaging.  The wide variety of uses makes it an important skill for children to learn.

SI Unit Pre-fixes

One thing that makes learning the metric system easier than the Customary system is that no matter if you are learning mass, length, or volume, all of the prefixes for the units are the same.  This includes kilo, hector, deka, deci, centi, and milli in order from largest to smallest.  One of the first things you should practice with your child is to help them memorize these in order.  Many people use mnemonics to help them remember the order.  One of the most popular sayings is “King Henry Died By Drinking Chocolate Milk.”  King is used for kilo, Henry is used for hector, died is used for deka, By is used for the base unit (for example liter or gram), Drinking is used for deci, Chocolate is used for centi, and milk is used for milli.

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Article by Laura VanHellemont

Photo By Nils Geylen