Children like to be involved in things that adults do, especially cooking and baking. One of the most important concepts involved in cooking is measurement. This activity helps demonstrate that substances have volume and can be measured.

set up ideas:
Point out the sizes of different things in the room. Acknowledge that different things take up different amounts of space. Find out how much your students understand about measurement.

let's get started

Collect tablespoons, cups, sand and connecting cubes. Prepare a mess-proof area that will make for an easy clean-up. It is useful to have a vacuum on hand.

step 1
Show the children how they can scoop sand into a cup using a tablespoon.
step 2
Pair each child with a partner. Invite each pair to have one partner spoon the sand into a cup using the tablespoon while the second partner counts.
step 3
As the second partner counts each spoonful, have them keep track by creating a cube tower by adding a cube for each spoonful of sand.
step 4
When the cup is filled, the children can count the cube towers to remind them of how many spoonfuls of sand they used to fill the cup.

Ask children what things they have had to measure in the past. Maybe they remember being weighed at the doctor or having their long-jump tracked at gym class. Talk about ways that they will use the tablespoon in real life, like when they bake cookies.
Tips and Tricks Tips and Tricks
Do this activity over a tray or bin. The sand may get messy. Prepare for clean up with a vacuum.
Follow Up ActivityFollow up Activity
To follow up this activity, try measuring different substances. Perhaps, use different units of measurement. Talk about the differences in measuring volume and weight.