Understanding Volume

What You Need:

  • Bowl large enough for fists
  • Paper tape
  • Erasable marker

What You Do:

  1. Have your child fill the bowl halfway with water and mark the water level with the marker.
  2. Ask her to make a fist and put it in the bowl of water. Mark the new water level to indicate how much the water has risen. The space between the first and second mark represents the volume of your child's hand.
  3. Have all the members of the family put their fists in the bowl of water, marking the water each time. Whoever displaces the most water has the biggest fist!
Did You Know? When Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician, hopped in the bathtub, he noticed that the water rose a little bit and realized that he had just discovered how to measure volume. The story goes that he was so excited, he ran down the street naked shouting, “Eureka!” (that means "I've found it!" in Greek) Though your child may not have quite same reaction to the wonders of volume, this simple experiment is nonetheless a great introduction to an important mathematical concept.

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