When we teach measurement in early childhood education we use both standard and non-standard measurements. This means we use rulers, yard sticks, tape measures as well as linking cubes, paper squares and other non-standard tools.
The key to using non-standard measurements is to use things that are all the same size. The key points we work on are: starting and ending at the edges of the item, counting all the whole units and estimating the partial units (we typically stick with half and whole). When using non-standard units making sure there are no gaps between the items used to measure.
Here are a few on-line items to try out before jumping into the measurement fun. https://jr.brainpop.com/math/measurement/nonstandardmeasurement/
Choose one form of measurement to try out today. You can do the same exact items another day with a different measurement tool. Now go outside and measure!
Some things to measure are: rocks, front steps, plant heights, items you draw with chalk, foot prints, and anything else that stays still long enough to measure!
When working on measurement in early childhood we introduce the terms length/long, width/wide, height/tall, perimeter, inch, and units. These terms help them understand what they are measuring, but are not expected to be mastered at this time.
Under each pictures I wrote how I would state the measurement of the object.