3rd Grade Math: Perimeter Problems

In 3rd grade, your child will learn to calculate the perimeter of 2-dimensional shapes. Perimeter, which is the distance around a shape, is determined by adding together the lengths of a shape's sides. If your child is struggling with the concept of perimeter, his or her teacher may be able to provide additional practice sheets. However, creating your own practice problems can be both easy and fun.

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How to Create 3rd Grade Perimeter Problems

When formulating perimeter problems for your 3rd grader, you might try to show how we use perimeter calculations in everyday life. For example, instead of asking your child to find the perimeter of any old square, you might ask him or her to determine the perimeter of a square backyard and explain that this information could be used to help fence in the yard.

If your child is having trouble visualizing the concept of perimeter, particularly when it involves shapes with more than four sides, you might provide him or her with a drawing. You can further help by labeling each side of the shape with its measurement.

Additionally, be sure to include units of measure in your problems, which can help solidify for your child that perimeter is a measure of distance. For example, instead of writing 'The sides of a square have a length of 4,' you could write 'The sides of a square have a length of 4 inches.' Also, you should require your child to label his or her answers in the correct unit.

Perimeter Problems by Difficulty


1. Find the perimeter of a square whose sides are 9 centimeters long. (Answer: 36 centimeters)

2. A hexagon has a 8 sides, all of which are 7 meters long. What is the perimeter? (Answer: 56 meters)

3. The long sides of a rectangle are 10 inches. The short sides are 3 inches. Find the perimeter of the rectangle. (Answer: 26 inches)


Once your child has mastered beginning perimeter problems, you might try including shapes with sides of different lengths. Alternatively, you might only label two sides of a rectangle and one side of a square. This can help your child to better understand shapes.

1. A trapezoid has the following lengths: 60 centimeters on top, 10 centimeters on the bottom and 34 centimeters on each side. Find the perimeter. (Answer: 138 centimeters)

2. A rectangle has a base of 4 inches and a height of 7 inches. What is the rectangle's perimeter? (Answer: 22 inches)

3. One side of a hexagon is 93 centimeters long. What is the perimeter of the hexagon? (Answer: 558 centimeters)

Real Life Applications

Have your child measure and calculate the perimeter of his or her room or a piece of furniture that has flat sides, like a table, television or bookshelf. Remember that in 3rd grade, students learn to measure using halves and fourths of an inch. So, encourage your child to make his or her measurements as accurate as possible.

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