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Fill It Up

Level: 1 - 2

water glasses

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Filling empty containers provides opportunities to explore geometric concepts such as "more or less" and volume, and to apply measurement skills.

What You Need

  • Measuring cup
  • Four large glasses of equal size and shape
  • Water

What to Do

  • On a table, put the glasses in a row and fill them with water as follows: one-third cup, one-half cup, three-fourths cup, 1 cup. Ask your child questions that encourage her to compare, estimate and think about measurement. Ask, for example, "Which glass has more water? Which has less?"

  • Pour more water into one of the glasses to make it equal to the amount of water in another glass. Move the glasses around so that the glasses that have the same amount of water are not next to each other. Ask your child to find the glasses that have the same amount of water.

  • Help your child to do math in her head. Ask questions such as, "If I have four cups of water and I need seven, how many more do I need to pour?"

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communications and Outreach, "Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics," Washington, D.C., 2005

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