How we did it:
- construction paper (black; cut into a bat shape)
We decided to measure the area and perimeter of the bat with buttons, one of my son's favorite crafting materials.
The buttons weren't going to give us a perfect measurement of perimeter and area--but there's no need to be too precise with a four-year-old! I just wanted him to understand the basic concepts.
First, we son outlined the bat with a row of buttons. We talked about how this was the "perimeter."
Then we filled the inside of the bat to find the "area"... This took a lot of buttons. My son observed that the bowl was almost empty when we finished (which led to a nice chat about how the area was larger than the perimeter).
Ta-da! A fun, creative, no-mess way to explore area and perimeter!