What is Measurement – Definition, Types, Scale, Unit


For years, Man has been in search of one thing: Quality. The same Quality, that helps us measure the Goodness of things.

That being said, man’s quest to measure Quantity, is not far behind.

To gain a measure of the quantity of things, one must first understand what a Standard Unit of Measurement is. In layman’s terms, a standard unit of measurement is what aids us in assessing the Magnitude of quantity. It does this, by associating the object with the said measurement.

In this blog piece, you will find yourself privy to all things Measurement-related. You will gain a basic understanding of Measurement Types, as well as an insight into Units of Measurement for Kids.

Let’s begin by answering the most basic of questions, ‘What is Measurement?’

Measurement: The Basics

In a nutshell, Measurement is a system used to measure things like the Height, Weight and even, Amount of certain objects. It is through measurement that we can find answers to questions like, ‘How tall is this Giraffe?’

Just like we touched upon in the Introduction, we need to use a standard unit of measurement, to help us express a Physical Quantity. A classic example of this would be employing the use of ‘Inches’, while measuring the length of something. Like say, a Matchbox.

Since we make effective use of these ‘Units’ when it comes to measuring things, it becomes essential that we use the same units of measurement, when Comparing different things.

Measurement: Types

Now that we have answered the question, ‘What is Measurement’, let’s understand it a little better.

Depending on what we are looking to quantify, there are different Types of Measurement. Like, the following.


One of the most common Measurement Types, this one can be loosely defined as ‘The distance of an object from one end to the other.’

A classic example of length measurement, would be using a ruler. We begin by placing the Zero mark of the ruler, at one end of the object. The item being measured is kept parallel to the edge of the ruler. The length of the object is ascertained, by recording the reading on the ruler that marks the end of the object’s other side.


Undoubtedly, the one thing that we want to measure, more than anything. Needless to say, our ‘own’ weight, especially when we are trying to ‘lose’ weight!

In scientific terms, the weight of an object is the Force exerted on it by Gravity. Simply put, weight is the measure of how ‘Bulky’ an object is. Of course, we don’t quite wish to know how bulky ‘we’ might be ourselves, but there’s plenty of other things whose weight we need to measure. Like, our bags when we are travelling.


While time might be not so clearly defined, it is the one thing that we are all looking to measure at some point or the other. Simply because, time that is spent will never come back again!

One way we can describe Time is, the Flow of events from the Past into the Present and subsequently, into the Future.

Units of Measurement for Kids

In the olden days, people had to invent their own ‘Standard Units of Measurement’, in an attempt to measure the things around them.

When teaching Units of Measurement for Kids, we must understand some of the most common measurement systems that are widely employed in today’s day and age.

Metric System

When it comes to Measuring Systems, this one is the most commonly used. Right from their earliest school lessons, children learn how to use Metric Units. These are commonly used in measuring things like Mass, Length and even Time.

It’s high time we take a look at some Standard Units of Measurement, that form an intrinsic part of the Metric System of Measurement.


  • Millilitres (ml)
  • Litres (l)


  • Millimetres (mm)
  • Centimetres (cm)
  • Metres(m)
  • Kilometres (km)


  • Grams (g)
  • Kilograms (kg)
  • Tonnes (t)


  • Seconds
  • Minutes
  • Hours
  • Days, Weeks, Months, Years


  • Degrees Celsius

The Imperial System

This one’s the System of Measurement that is used in the United Kingdom. Also known as the British Imperial System, it shares common units of Time and Temperature with the Metric System.

The following are the units of measurement that the Imperial System encompasses.


  • Pint
  • Gallon


  • Inch (In)
  • Foot (ft)
  • Yard (yd)
  • Mile (mi)


  • Ounces (oz)
  • Stones (st)
  • Pounds (lbs)

Measuring Scale: Understanding different Scales of Measurement (h3)

The term ‘Measuring Scale’ is indeed a broad one. It can be used to refer to the scale you step on in the morning, fervently hoping you’ve lost a kilo since last evening. It might be that ‘ruler’ we touched upon earlier, to measure the length of an object.

Or, it could be the different Scales of Measurement, that the data being measured might fall into.

Nominal Scale

Here, the numbers serve as a ‘tag’, in an attempt to classify objects.

Example: When answering the question, What is your Gender?

The options given are

  • Male
  • Female

In this instance, the answer is either M or F.

Ordinal Scale

In this, the data that is collected is Ordered and Ranked, without establishing the degree of Variation between them.

Example: In determining the frequency of how often you eat out.

  • Very often
  • Often
  • Not often
  • Not at all

Interval Scale

In this, the Difference between two variables of measurement, has some Meaning.

Note: This is the preferred scale in Statistics, as it helps to assign any numerical value to arbitrary assessments like ‘Feelings.’


  • Likert Scale
  • Bipolar Matrix Table

Ratio Scale

This quantitative scale helps researchers compare ‘Differences’ or ’Intervals.’

Example: In answering the one question you don’t wish to answer.

What is your Weight?

  • Less than 70 kgs
  • 70- 85 kg
  • 86-100 kgs
  • More than 100 kgs

We at EuroKids are of the opinion that you should start children young, when teaching them about Measurement. The best part is, it’s easy and fun to incorporate Measuring Activities into the daily lives of children.