Using sidewalk squares to measure distance

Activity Type Setting Cost Time
No Cost
About 30 minutes


You don’t have to go any further than your front walk to learn about math and calculating distances.  Find a sidewalk that is divided into roughly same-sized squares. Get out your yardstick or tape measure and have your child measure the length of one square.  Next, count the number of squares between two interesting spots such as your house and the neighbor at the end of the block, or the place where you parked and the ice cream store.  Then, have your child multiply the number of squares between the two spots by the length of one square to calculate the distance between the two. 

Variation:  You can also talk about how long a sidewalk you would need to get from where you are to someplace you’d like to be.  Talk about a place that you would like to go – it could be the swimming pool across town or Mars.  Then, get online and find out the distance between where you are and the place you’d like to be. Divide that distance by the length of one sidewalk square, and you have the number of squares you would need in your sidewalk to get there.

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