Celebrate Measure Your Feet Day with this Measurement Activity
Did you know that January 23rd is “Measure Your Feet Day”? Although this may be an unfamiliar funday, it’s the perfect occasion for students to learn about the history of measurement and practice measuring objects using the length of their own feet!
Long ago, units of measurement were loosely based off of body parts—hands, arms, and, yes, even feet. Although there are many stories about how the length of a standard foot was established, it’s believed that the 12-inch foot we use for measurement today came from the average length of a person’s foot.
For a fun fictional story about the invention of the foot, introduce this measurement activity using Rolf Myller’s How Big Is a Foot?
“Measure Your Feet Day” Activity
For grades K–3
- How Big Is a Foot by Rolf Myller (optional)
- Standard foot-long ruler
- Measurement recording template (included)
- Areas and/or objects to measure
- Optional: Read Rolf Myller’s book How Big Is a Foot? with your student.
- Give your child a ruler and ask him or her to think about the ways people might have measured things before rulers were common.
- Ask your student to trace his or her bare foot on a piece of paper, and then cut out the foot.
- Choose several objects around the home that you want to measure, and then list them on the measurement template. Ideas may include:
- Kitchen floor
During this activity, you have a great opportunity to demonstrate the proper use of a standard measuring tool such as a ruler. Show your child how to measure in a straight line, without overlapping or leaving space between the ruler lengths when repositioning.
Questions to Consider
How do the ruler and cutout measurements compare? Why are they different?
Why is it important to have one standard unit of measurement?
Challenge for Older Students: Create a Family-Based Foot
Challenge older students to apply additional math principles by measuring each family member’s foot and finding the average length. Encourage them to draw a standard family foot cutout based on this average length.
Invite other families to participate in this challenge, then compare and contrast family feet!
What other “fundays” do you celebrate with your family to share those teachable moments? Share them in the comments.