Messy measuring

Written by: Claire Hewson
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

To understand the concepts of weight and measure children need to explore, experiment and get their hands dirty. This becomes all the more relevant when placed in the context of a picture book narrative.



  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Pooh’s Honey Trouble by Sara F Miller (Disney Press)
  • The Bear and Grandma Scaratti’s Spaghetti by Bruce and Judy Anderson (CreateSpace) Where’s My Teddy by
  • Jez Alborough (Candlewick Press)
  • Messy Maths: A playful, outdoor approach for early years by Juliet Robertson (Crown House Publishing)
  • Outdoor weighing using natural objects:

For children to understand the concepts of weight and measure they need to explore, experiment and have fun getting their hands dirty. By playing alongside children in a mud kitchen with a pan balance, measuring jugs and spoons they will learn the function of this equipment. With the addition of herbs, flowers, pebbles and water children’s imaginations will go wild creating magic potions, mud pies, herb soups and interesting drinks. Messy measuring is a kinaesthetic, sensory and sociable learning experience that can take place across the learning environment. You can make messy measuring purposeful by linking it with a cross-curricular theme.

Register now to get access to more of our great articles.

Thank you for visiting Early Years Educator and making use of our archive of expert features, practical activity ideas and news. Why not register today and the enjoy the following great benefits:

  • Weekly email newsletters, providing you themed activity ideas, topical features and news
  • Unlimited access to news and selected features.
  • Access to 4 free articles per month from our practical database.
Register for free

Already registered? - Sign in here

Keep up to date with Early Years!

Sign up for our newsletter and keep up to date with Early Years education, process and events! We promise we won't spam you!