Hands On Perimeter Activities

I love teaching with hands-on perimeter activities! It is one of my tip, top favorite things to teach because the possibilities are endless, and it’s so easy to make hands-on and engaging for students. It’s one of those concepts that I have to force myself to limit the amount of time I spend teaching, because I could drag out that unit waaaay too long! These hands-on perimeter stations are an absolute blast for students!

perimeter activities

Perimeter Activities – Station 1

In our first perimeter station activity, students solve three perimeter problems. This particular station does not require any math manipulatives.

Station 2

Station 2 includes hands-on perimeter activities. Students use exactly eight color tiles to find how many shapes they could make with different perimeters.  I loved watching them creating their figures and seeing them observe how the configuration of the figure effected the perimeter. We also discussed area in this activity, because all of the figures had the same area but different perimeters.

hands-on perimeter activities

Station 3

The next station is a follow-up skills practice page where students find the perimeter of different shapes.

Station 4

In a different perimeter activity, students created a design of their choice using pattern blocks. Using a green triangle as one unit, students had to find the total perimeter of the figure they created.  I had students draw a pictures of the design in their booklets and show how they found it. Seriously, it was so much fun!

Station 5

In the fifth station, students draw rectangles with different perimeters. While this may sound easy, it’s often challenging for students.

Station 6

In the sixth station activity, students used color tiles to compare the perimeter of two different books. They measured the book they thought would have the largest perimeter and recorded the perimeter, and then they found the perimeter of the second book and recorded it. Then, they subtracted to find the difference of perimeters of the two books. Students could also measure the perimeter of the book with different units of measure and then compare those units.

Perimeter Activities – Station 7

This find the missing side page is very challenging for students. Try having students label the sides they know, because they often forget that opposite sides are equal in rectangles.

Hands-On Perimeter Activities – Station 8

One of my favorite perimeter activities required students to use pentominoes, which are awesome math manipulatives! First, they had to find the perimeter for each pentomino. Then, they had to arrange two pentominoes together to create a shape with the smallest perimeter possible. They drew a picture of that shape and recorded the perimeter. The last part of this activity had students use two pentominoes to create a shape with the largest perimeter possible. My students loved this activity, and I felt like it really impacted their conceptual understanding.

perimeter activities

I try to incorporate perimeter as much as possible to allow my students to make natural connections with the concepts and to prevent confusion between the two topics. All of these activities as well as a few practice pages are included in my Hands-On Math Booklets! You can read more about teaching elementary math here!

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