Monday, April 9, 2012

How Tall is it Really?

For our very last activity related to studying our final sense, vision, we took it outside.  I wanted to demonstrate to Trevor how even big things look little when they are far away.

First we grabbed our ruler, a paper, a pencil, and some snacks =) and headed outside!

We started walking and stopped when I spotted a STOP sign a little ways up the road.  I had Trevor hold up his hand and try to put his fingers so it looked like he was 'holding' the STOP sign between them.  Oh, this was more difficult to explain than I expected!  Then I had him hold up the ruler to measure how tall the stop sign was (between his fingers).  We have not done much with measuring, so this was really more him giving it a good shot, than it was getting accurate measurements.

Trevor's conclusion was that the STOP sign was 2 inches tall.

Then we continued walking until we got right up to the STOP sign.  Trevor discovered that the sign wasn't 2 inches after all!  Of course we couldn't measure it with a ruler, but Trevor guessed that maybe it was 7 feet tall (good guess!)

Trying to measure the sign to see if it is 2 inches tall.

From there, we looked ahead and spotted a tree.  Once again  I had Trevor put out his hands to try to 'measure' the tree, then I held out the ruler to see how tall it looked.

Looks like about 4 inches tall!  What do you think?

Then we made our way to the tree and saw how huge it really was!

It was sure bigger than 4 inches!

We walked a little ways further and stopped in front of a garage.  I'm really hoping that the family wasn't home watching us through the window =)  We repeated the same process.  By this time Trevor was starting to understand a little more about how to measure.

This isn't a good angle, but it measured about 10 inches high.

Now for some reason, Trevor had a terrible time with this next part.  He got that the garage was much bigger than it looked from afar, but when I asked him how big he thought the garage really was he kept guessing in the inches.  So I'd put the ruler up to his leg and show him how high inches were.  Then I'd have him run back up to the garage and see if the garage was shorter than his leg.  We had to repeat this a few times =)  Practice makes perfect, right?  We'll keep practicing =)

Trying to measure how tall the garage is!

After we got home, I had Trevor make a drawing to illustrate what he had learned.  I drew two lines down a paper for a road and a stick-figure Trevor (and his bike) at the bottom.  I asked him to draw a car far away from him, then a car close to him (we also measured a car outside, I just didn't get good pictures of it). Before he started drawing, I asked him if the far away car should be big or little, and then the same question for the close car.  We repeated this with a tree, house, and STOP sign.  He did really well until we got to the stop sign and for some reason he got confused...he was probably just ready to be done at that point!  Of course I had him practice his writing/spelling next to the drawings, because...why not!?!

I think this was a pretty fun, effective way of teaching how things look different sizes when they are up close verses far away.  If you've got nice weather like we're getting these days, head out and do this fun activity with your preschooler! 

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 Looking for more preschool information?  Click on the picture below to find a list of all the preschool posts here at Living and Learning at Home, plus some of my favorite preschool resources!

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  1. That's a great idea! Your kiddo might have a lot of questions in his mind and that's a great brain activity!I have numerous Preschool Arts and Crafts activities and I'll gonna share your idea to my kids too. thanks!

  2. Thanks ladies. Izza, I'll check out your activities!

  3. What a great way to teach perspective! Will have to keep this in mind for when my kids are older :)

  4. What a very clever concept! I love the idea of then seeing what the real size is and gain perspective.

    Thank you for sharing on Science Sparks.

  5. That is awesome!! Must pin this.

    Popping in from pre-k corner.

  6. Great way to teach Near/Far concept, too! Will have to do this with Tyler to help him with measuring-- he LOVES to measure!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks, Kristina! This is probably only the second time we've done anything with measuring, so I'm going to have to remember to do more with it! This was a fun way to incorporate learning into a walk (or bike ride!) so it's great for summer.

  7. Pinned it! I'm loving this idea. Gives them a little "perspective!" I may also try and take some photos of my son holding up a tree and some of those tricky photos to remember the lesson by! GREAT idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. I'm so glad you liked the idea! Thanks so much for the comment and for pinning it =)

  8. Thanks for linking up both of your posts to Thinky Linky Thursday!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

  9. Great, great learning activity!! Love it. Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday.

  10. this is great learning idea!! pinning!!

    Thanks for sharing on Serenity Saturday xxx


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