Measuring in nature

This activity will encourage learners to think about distances and how they relate to the space around them. They will become more confident exploring outdoors, combining maths and physical activity to learn more about their site. 

Learners will lie down head to toe between and around features such trees, planters, or even the playground, introducing the concept of measuring accurately in an outdoor space. This activity can be used alongside our other mapping activities, to help capture information about biodiversity on your school grounds for the National Education Nature Park.

< 30 minutes


What you need

Optional, if recording measurements:

  • Plain paper
  • Pencils
  • Clipboards
  • Chalk
  • Outside
Useful guidance

Step by step

  1. Walk around your learning site to explore the space with learners. Ask them to point out any significant features, like big trees, play equipment, etc. 
  2. Explain that you will be measuring spaces in your site together. If you can demonstrate, this will help! Ask learners to lie down between two features, or around it. They will need to be lying on their back, head to toe. 
  3. Ask at least one learner to stay standing, as they will be counting how many learners there are in the measurement. If you have enough people, you could try to measure around the whole space! 
  4. Repeat in different locations around the site so that every learner can have a turn measuring.


Invite learners to reflect on this activity by asking:

  • Do you have big distances/spaces between nature on your site? Do you think there is room for more nature?