Caterpillar Measure

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In this activity, young learners use different-sized paper 'caterpillars' and various household items to predict and measure their height. This activity provides a great foundation for nonstandard measurement and helps improve estimation skills. The bilingual instruction guide is written in parent/educator friendly language with simple instructions and questions to ask the learner. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • Small caterpillars and large caterpillars (see black line master)
  • Other measurement items (paper clips, pencils, paper, feathers, straws, plastic spoons)
  • Paper
  • Pencil


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
    • Number and Operations
    • Reasoning and Proof
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Animals


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Designed specifically for

  • Limited English proficiency

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Latino

    • Explicity developed for this group


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Para los Ninos


  • All rights reserved, Children's Museum of Houston, 2004

Funding Sources:

  • Target
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • The Powell Foundation
  • The Brown Foundation
  • Bank of America