Preschoolers and math go together like apples and bananas! Your little mathematicians will love this easy preschool apple math activity.
You don’t need anything fancy for preschool apple math
One of my favorite things about preschool math concepts is how kids can learn from the materials around them.
As kids get older, they often use expensive calculators and expensive textbooks, but many preschool math concepts can be learned with what you already have.
Something as simple as an apple can grow into a hands-on, engaging, meaningful preschool math lesson.
Let’s learn how.
Related: Our GIANT 10-foot apple coloring poster is apple-solutely the cutest apple art activity, ever.
This preschool apple math measurement activity is a 10/10
We love activities that come together in seconds.
We also love activities that provide rich knowledge to excite the minds of our littlest learners.
This activity has it all.
Looking for more apple activities? You’ll find these “a-peel-ing”
- Dancing Apple Seeds – Friends Art Lab
- Watercolor and Salt Apple Paintings – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Alphabet Apple Punching Activity – Toddler Approved
Friends Art Lab is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about these links in my disclosure policy.
Part 1: Measure all of the things
I think of this measurement activity as having two parts: first measuring the circumference of items, then comparing and analyzing the results.
First, model measuring the circumference of something for your child to observe. For example, use the string to wrap around an apple, then cut the string so it’s the exact length of the apple’s circumference.
Next, add a piece of tape to one end of the string and write the name of what you measured (in this case it would say “apple”).
Repeat this process, measuring things large and small!
Note: I had to stick to relatively small things because I needed to photograph the strings together, but you can measure things of all sizes!
Some ideas of items to measure:
- Water bottle
- Ice cube
- Baby doll
- Paint bottle
You can measure absolutely anything.
Part 2: Compare and analyze the strings
Having a variety of strings provides kids with a wonderful visual representation of length.
Kids are able to clearly and easily see that the string from the ice cube is vastly smaller than the string from the couch.
Ask questions like
- “What item had the smallest circumference? How can you tell?”
- “What item had the largest circumference? How can you tell?”
Last, invite your child to line up the strings from shortest to longest.
When putting the strings in order, it is called seriation and it’s absolutely a word I would introduce to my preschoolers.
Related: When done, use your apples for apple stamp art!
A note about mathematical vocabulary
Use the big words.
I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase “If kids can say tyrannosaurus-rex then they can say big words.”
Introducing big words isn’t just adorable, but it’s important.
It teaches kids to be confident, competent communicators.
So, we’re using the word seriation.
And we’re using the word circumference.
And we’re using measurement, comparing, shorter, longer, and estimation.
We’re not only using them today with this activity, but we’re using and reinforcing them as often as we can in the future.
Curious about how to introduce big words to little humans?
Here’s an example of how I would introduce the word seriation.
Me: “Let’s look at all of the strings we measured with. Are they all the same size?”
Me: “Correct! Let’s line them up from shortest to longest. I am looking for the shortest string. Does anyone see the shortest one?
*kids will point to the shortest one*
Me: “Excellent, here it is! Okay, let’s now find the next shortest one. We are going to line them all up from the shortest to longest. When we do something like this, it’s called seriation. We are going to seriate the strings.”
How do you teach preschool measurement?
Activities like this are fantastic for introducing preschool measurement!
It’s important to incorporate standard units of measurement (think inches, ounces, feet) and non-standard units of measurement (think yarn, blocks, pompoms).
Measurement activities are a blast with kids!
Any age that can safely use the materials. We did activities like this with our 3-6 year old preschoolers frequently.
This could be a third part to the activity! You absolutely could use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the lengths of the strings, too.
It all depends on how many things you measure. This could be a quick 5-10 minute activity, it it could be an hour+ activity.
Preschool apple math is the best measurement activity
You only need string to get started, and you’re ready for loads of mathematical discovery.