Whenever you run a bath, or pour a drink of juice, you are using your knowledge of volume and capacity. Being able to judge how much liquid a container will hold is very important, if you don’t want to make a mess!
Understanding volume and capacity is a useful skill.
Teach your children about volume and capacity using our handy topic guide!
- Give children plenty of practice at converting between millilitres and litres.
- Introduce volume by making shapes from cubes and then counting the number of cubes used.
- Try these word problems about volumes of solids with older children.
- Use this investigation from BBC Teach when you are working on converting between millilitres and litres.
- Read The Flying Bath by Julia Donaldson, and find out the capacity of different baths by comparing information from sites on the internet.
- Challenge your children to explain what happens in this NRICH activity.
- Start your volume and capacity unit by giving children experience with bottles and containers of differing shapes and sizes.
- Ask older children to relabel these containers, using their reasoning skills and understanding of reading scales.
- Carefully measure out the ingredients for this fizzy potion.
Volume and Capacity Facts
- Volume is how much space something takes up.
- Capacity is how much of something a container can hold.
- There are 1000 millilitres in one litre.
- Millilitres and litres are used to measure the volume of liquids.
- Cubic centimetres, written as cm3, and cubic metres, written as m3, are used to measure the volume of solids.
- Today we use the metric system, but in the past there have been lots of different units for measuring volume. These include a peck, which was equivalent to about 9 litres.
Measure volume in millilitres and litres
A good introduction to measuring volumes and reading scales.
Running time: 5:34
Volume and Capacity
A good introduction for younger children with some interactive activities using non-standard units.
Running time: 4:15
Metric Units for Capacity
This video gives a useful overview of units used to measure capacity and how to convert between millilitres and litres.
Running time: 3:35
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!