Classroom Activities for Teaching Perimeter
These K-3 activities provide parents and educators with ideas for reinforcing learning at home about perimeter. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Perimeter topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Get into Shapes
Have pairs of students draw small shapes on paper or collect several small classroom objects to find their perimeter in inches, centimeters, or nonstandard units. One student can measure, while another records the lengths and writes out the number sentence. Then together they can add the lengths to find the perimeter. Afterward, have students swap roles to measure another drawing or object. If possible, have each pair draw bigger shapes on butcher paper or choose a few large classroom objects and repeat the activity using feet or even yards. This can also be a good opportunity for students to practice using calculators. Afterward, compare and contrast the perimeter of various objects that were measured. Did any two objects have the same perimeter even though they were different shapes? How is this possible?
Challenge your students to draw as many shapes as they can with a perimeter of 10 inches or centimeters. Encourage children to be creative, reminding them that shapes can have many, many sides! For example, a shape with 10 sides can have a perimeter of 10 centimeters if each side is 1 centimeter long. You may want students to double check each others’ shapes to make sure the shapes have a perimeter of 10.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Perimeter
Measure for Measure
Measure and calculate the perimeter of different objects in your house, such as a placemat, rug, or picture frame. Then choose a room in your home and find it’s perimeter. You could even compare different areas—which room in your house has the greatest perimeter? You can use a tape measure or nonstandard units such as footsteps.
In the Field
What’s the perimeter of a soccer field or a basketball court? Find out together by measuring the lines on the field or court. You may wish to use nonstandard units such as footsteps if you do not have a tape measure that is long enough. After measuring a few places, you may want to estimate the perimeter of another location in your community, and then measure to find the exact answer. What might the perimeter of your local playground be? Make a prediction and measure to see if you’re right!