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Leighton Primary School

Shape, Space & Measure

Exploring patterns

Children need to copy, create and continue their own repeating patterns. It is important that children say the pattern aloud to then help them to continue the pattern. Children should experience pattern with colour, shape, sizes, actions and sounds. Patterns should be horizontal and vertical. Children need to start with basic patterns e.g. red, blue, red, blue, red, blue or pat, clap, pat, clap, pat, clap. Once the children have understood the basic patterns, they can progress from 2 to 3 actions/colours/shapes. Examples include jump, hop, clap, jump, hop, clap or red, yellow, blue, red, yellow, blue.

*Try spotting patterns inside and outside. The more you look around the more you’ll notice patterns are everywhere including on clothes, curtains, trees, flowers and even animals.

*Try tongue twister patterns – red lorry, yellow lorry.

*Sing the song ‘Clap your hands and wiggle your fingers’ making up your own pattern verses.

*Cut up some pieces of fruit and arrange them in a pattern. If you have kebab sticks/cocktail sticks you could make your own patterned fruit kebab… then eat it!

*Use some natural objects like short sticks, long sticks, stones, daisies, and leaves to arrange a pattern in a straight line or even going around a hoop.

Numberblocks series 3 ep8 Building blocks

Numberblocks series 3 ep17 Pattern palace

Length, height & distance

Children naturally compare length and height often using ‘big’ or ‘bigger.’ Encourage your child to use more specific words relating to length (longer, shorter), height (taller, shorter) and breadth (wider, narrower).

*Ask your child to compare heights with people in your house (you could even include pets!) Who is taller/shorter/the same as them? Can they measure their height using pencils/books/items that are the same length?

*Using their foot, can your child find something that is longer/shorter/the same length as their foot?

*Compare trees on a walk or flowers growing. Which ones are taller/shorter? Are there any that are the same height?

*Plant some seeds and measure them as they grow. You could measure their growth using lego blocks that are the same size.

*Can your child build a tower as tall as themselves?

*Choose 3 different sized cuddly toys to make beds for them.

*Make bridges for cars to go over. This could be using toys or recycled materials like card. How long, how high and how wide will the bridge be?

*Using dried/cooked spaghetti, ribbon, wool or string, have a few pieces that are different lengths. Ask your child to put them in order of length.

*If you have some playdough, get your child to make some different snakes. (Long, short, wide, narrow)


Titch – Pat Hutchins

Tall - Jez Alborough

Where’s my teddy – Jez Alborough


*Encourage your child to directly compare objects regarding their weight using their hands. Promote using the words heavy, heavier, heaviest, light, lighter, lightest

*Ask your child to be like a balance scale. Give them 2 objects to hold. The hand holding the heaviest object goes down and the hand holding the lightest object goes up. Check if they are correct using some kitchen scales if you have them.

*Give your child an object e.g. an apple, asking them to find objects that are heavier than their apple then objects that are lighter than their apple. They could sort them into sets.

*Challenge your child to find the heaviest/lightest object of a collection of objects you have made. Are the larger objects heavier?


Who sank the boat? – Pamela Allen

How much does a ladybird weigh? – Alison Limentani

Balancing act – Ellen Stoll Walsh


Your child might already know what full and empty means. They need to have their understanding extended to understanding half full, nearly full and nearly empty. Capacity can be explored using different materials such as water, sand, rice, cereal and toys with small parts e.g. beads. Containers of different shapes and sizes are needed, encouraging the use of words like tall, thin, narrow, wide and shallow to describe them.

*Encourage your child to compare containers directly by pouring from one to another. Small pots or ladles can be used to compare how many scoops/ladles it takes to fill each container.

*Give your child a container and ask them to show it empty, nearly full, nearly empty and about half full. Can they find a container that holds more/less than their container?

*Challenge your child to find the container that holds the most. Provide 4-5 containers and encourage your child to either pour directly from one container to another or to use a small pot to count how many times it is filled to fill up each container.

*Give your child a range of different sized spoons and ladles to investigate and 1 container. How many small/large spoons did it take? Which was the best? Why?

*Provide a small container for your child giving them the task of filling their container with as many things as possible.