Perimeter Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

There are many types of measurement you need to learn. In this lesson, you'll learn the definition of perimeter and how to find the perimeter of a variety of shapes.


Kayla found an old wooden dollhouse in the attic. She wants to fix it up and decorate it. Before she buys supplies, she needs to measure in order to find out what supplies she needs. Measurement is finding the amount or size of something.


Perimeter is the distance around the outside of a shape. Perimeter is found by adding together the length of all a shape's sides.

The lines around the edge of a soccer field show the perimeter of the field. The curb around a parking lot shows the perimeter of the lot. Kayla is going to use perimeter to prepare the decorations for her dollhouse.


Finding the Perimeter of a Rectangle

Kayla wants to put green trim around the outside of the dollhouse door. She needs to find the perimeter of the door.

Look at the picture of the dollhouse. The green outline shows the perimeter of the door. Two sides of the door are labelled: one is 8 inches, and one is 4 inches. Because the door is a rectangle, we know that opposite sides are equal. That means the side opposite the 8-inch side is also 8 inches, and the side opposite the 4-inch side is also 4 inches.

The door has four sides. We must add them all together to get the perimeter.

8 inches + 8 inches + 4 inches + 4 inches = 24 inches

The perimeter of the door is 24 inches, so Kayla needs 24 inches of green trim for the door.

Finding the Perimeter of a Hexagon

Kayla wants to put blue trim around the window. In the picture of the dollhouse, the blue line shows the perimeter of the window. The window has six sides, so it is a hexagon. Each side is labelled 3 inches.

We must add the length of all the sides together to find the perimeter of the hexagonal window.

3 inches + 3 inches + 3 inches + 3 inches + 3 inches + 3 inches = 18 inches

The perimeter of the window is 18 inches, so Kayla needs 18 inches of blue trim for the window.

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