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5 Area and Perimeter Activities That Will Engage Kids

Area and perimeter. Those two words can be so confusing to 3rd graders. And it can drive teachers crazy!

They are either adding all the sides to find the area or multiplying the length and width to find the perimeter. It can be a nightmare.

Then there’s the fact that they need to know the area and perimeter using shapes with squares and shapes without. It’s a lot for a kid to remember!

This year I’ve even resorted to just bursting out in song and singing the formulas. Gotta try anything and everything, you know what I mean?

Here are some tried and true area and perimeter activities and games to try out in your classroom.


Introduction to Area and Perimeter

One of my favorite introduction area and perimeter activities involves food! Any lesson that involves food is a great lesson. Am I right?!

I start by reading the book Spaghetti and Meatballs for All. This is a wonderful math book by Marilyn Burns. As I read the story we build the table formations that are in the book. With every new formation, we calculate the area and perimeter using square units.


Area and Perimeter Game

For area and perimeter practice using square units, we play this fun partner game that I call Conquer the Area. Here’s what you need to play: two dice, grid sheet, two different crayons or colored pencils.

Each player decides on their color and takes a turn rolling the dice. They create a shape with the numbers they rolled.

So for example, if they roll 3×4 they would draw a rectangle with 12 squares. Then they would write their multiplication problem inside the shape. (This reinforces arrays too!)

Their partner follows these same steps. They keep playing until time is up or they run out of space. The partner that covered the most space on the grid wins!


Perimeter Area and Volume A Monster Book of Dimensions

I love picture books so I always try to add them in for every subject I teach. Perimeter, Area, and Volume is another great book that uses cute monsters and real-world situations to teach perimeter and area. It is also a good introduction to volume which we learn later in the year.


Area and Perimeter Game 3rd Grade

For review at the end of the unit, I love using an area and perimeter scavenger hunt game. This is a fun twist on scavenger hunts where they have to figure out the secret phrase by solving problems.

This keeps my kids engaged for at least an hour. While they work on this I can go around and help strugglers or clear up misconceptions.


Area and Perimeter Bingo

Area and Perimeter Bingo is a fun review game! It’s played just like a regular bingo game but there’s a twist! Like in regular bingo, the object of the game is to get 5 in a row.

But be careful not to lose any covered spots during the game if you get a Bingo Blitz card! You can play this with the whole class or in teams or small groups.


Area and Perimeter Anchor Chart Printable

Something that is really helpful for the kids is to have access to the definitions and examples of area and perimeter. I created these mini anchor charts for the kids to glue into their math notebooks and reference as needed.

Give some of these area and perimeter activities and games a try! Your kids will have fun and maybe it won’t be so frustrating to teach. If you’d like the mini anchor charts for your students, sign up below and I’ll send them to you.

Area & Perimeter
Mini Anchor Charts

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