Games with… paper measures!


The huge “Swedish” store, which is now in several cities of the world, besides the thousands of products, also provides… many ideas for creative activities with children! The ideas came from the paper measuring tapes that exist in the entrance of these stores, on stands along with pencils and notepads, to facilitate customers purchases, which are provided free of charge and with the ability to have more than one (of course if you eventually want too many, it would be better to talk to the manager!).

The activities that we came up with mainly refer to the numbers shown on these measuring tapes and especially on the side which are indicated with inches and not centimeters because that is more legible and fewer in numbers.

1. Reach the goal (2 player game).

pawn on measuring tape

Materials: 1 paper measuring tape for each one, 2 pawns, 1 dice.

Each player places his pawn on the number 0 of the measuring tape, which is designated as the starting point of the game. We throw the dice alternately moving forward as many times as the dice indicate. Each move is equal to a number on the measuring tape. Whoever reaches the end of the measuring tape first, is the winner.

2. Calendar.

Calendar measuring tape

The measuring tape becomes a different monthly calendar, since you cut off the numbers that you do not need (0, and the numbers after 28, 30 or 31 depending on the month). Then, we can mark and count the days that go by , note important dates or the weekends.

3. Write the numbers.

Copy numbers in measuring tape

4.Numbers in order.

Numbers in order

Preparation: Small cards with numbers.

Depending on the level of the children’s knowledge and capabilities, cut from the measuring tape the numbers that are not needed. Prepare cards with the numbers you want and the child is asked to match them to the numbers of the measuring tape and to place them in order.

5. Mark the number (2 player game).

Mark the number

Materials: 1 paper measuring tape for each one, one pencil for each one, basket case with folded papers which have written all the numbers of the measuring tape  (3 for each number).

Again, depending on the level of the children’s knowledge and capabilities cut off from the measuring tape any numbers not needed. Turn by turn the children choose and unfold a piece of paper from the basket if they have it on the measuring tape, the number gets marked, if it has already been marked he/she misses his/her turn. The winner is whoever marks first all the numbers on the measuring tape or the most if all the papers are unfolded.

6. Colored spots (slightly demanding activity).

Colored spots

Preparation: Mark a different colored spot under the numbers 0-9.

Again, depending on the level of the children’s knowledge and capabilities cut off from the measuring tape the numbers that are not needed. The child is asked to mark under the double digits the combination of the equivalent colored marks eg if 1 has a red dot and 4 a green one, then 14 should have under it two spots, the red and green together.

7. Who will reach 20 (2 player game).

Who will reach 20

Materials: 1 paper measuring tape, 2 pawns, 1 dice.

One player places his pawn on the number 1 and the other player his pawn on number 39 at the other end of the measure. They move the pawn as many times as it is indicated each time by the dice, where each move is a number. Whoever reaches first 20 is the winner!

8. The lowest number (2 player game).

The lowest number

Materials: 1 paper measuring tape for each one, two scissors, two dice.

Preparation: Divide the paper measuring tape into equal pieces drawing a line on each number.

Players roll the dice simultaneously. Whoever  has the lowest number must cut a piece from the measuring tape. The child that will have to cut all the pieces from the measuring tape… is the one who loses!

9. Heights.

Cut the measuring tape in whatever length we want and then place them in an order by height.



Divide the measuring tape into equal pieces drawing lines on each number, cut them to the size you desire, paint in various colors and create colorful bookmarks! We can use whatever kind of paint we desired (watercolors, tempera, crayons, etc.) Or we can make with a marker various designs and of course we can laminate for durability!

(Of course we can reproduce specific color patterns eg 1 red part, 2  blue , 1 red , 2 blue etc. so we add to the activity … a few more math!)

About Ηρώ Παπαδοπούλου

I graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1996. I come from Ioannina, where I worked in private education from 1996 to 2000. Since then I have been living with my family in Corfu and I work in a public kindergarten. You can contact me at:
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