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Today's focus in Spiderman Spans!


Spiderman's superhero power is in his hands with his webs and scaling buildings. Today your child can channel their inner Spiderman and measure using their hand spans!


Your child can choose different objects in your house to measure. It could be the TV stand, a chair, a kitchen cupboard, a bed for example. Then using their hand spans they need to measure how long it is. 


Hand spans are a non-standard measure. This is the first way in which a child is introduced to measuring. Non-standard measure allows a child to be able to focus on the concept of length - longer, shorter etc. rather than becoming consumed with measuring with standard measures such as centimetres.  Hand spans are from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger, fingers spread apart. 

Remind your child that to measure handspans accurately that they need to keep their fingers spread wide (if this becomes tricky then just use with closed fingers), and that they need to be touching as they move along in the same way as shown in the video below, just more slowly and carefully!

Record your findings in the findings sheet (you can print this, record digitally on a tablet on top of the document using a stylus, or make your own on paper). 


When your child has finished measuring and recording look back at the findings sheet. Which object was the longest? Which was the shortest? How do they know?

Need a stepping stone?

Choose shorter length objects to complete this activity such as a ruler, plate, milk carton. Keep the fingers closed if it becomes too tricky to use with fingers spread apart.  Initially it may seem challenging at first but this skill is relatively simple, it just requires lots of practise to get the hang of it. Persevere as it won't take long before your child finds their stride! 


Need a further challenge?

Ask your child to find an object in the house that is just one handspan longer than the longest and/or shortest object. This may take some finding and keep your child practising their non-standard measure on lots of different items to find an object with only one more handspan. It is a fun challenge that they should be able to do independently.  If they complete this, challenge them to find an object that is one handspan, then two, then three, going up to 5 or 10 and encourage them to record this in a table independently.