Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finding the Surface Area of a Cereal Box (Rectangular Prism)

Here's a fun MATH MEASUREMENT activity for kids that uses a recycled cereal box.

Surface Area is the measurement of the OUTSIDE of a solid figure.

  • cereal box or other rectangular prism shaped box
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • markers (optional)
  • ruler

Directions _- Activity 1
  • A cereal box bought at the store is a 3D Shape.We need to turn it into its NET (2D representation of a 3D shape).
  • Empty everything out of the cereal box.
  • Use your scissors to cut the box open. You may need to tape the top and bottom flaps back together because of the design of the box. Your box should look similar to the picture above with 6 areas. (front, back, 2 sides, top and bottom----all flattened out)
  • Next you need to use a ruler to find the AREA for each box section. You could do the work and write the area(s) on each section of the box. Remember: Area = Length x Width
  • After you have found the Area for each section, you need to ADD all the 6 different areas together to find the Surface Area!
  • Voila, you now have the Surface Area of a Cereal Box/ Rectangular Prism in square units!

Directions - Activity 2 

This is an alternative method to find the surface area of a rectangular prism.

You could use the following Formula and a ruler to find the surface area of a rectangular prism

l=length,  w=width,  h=height

Have fun with math!


    1. How that would have helped me in school. Geez! Why didn't one teacher do that for me lol. I am terrible at Geometry and have been all the way through my MBA (which thankfully was more algebra!).
      Following from Super Stalker Sunday!

      Jenny @

    2. Thank you Jenny...followed you your site!
      Marcia :)

    3. That was awesome. I always loved math! This would def help my kids if they were older. I showed this to my 3 year old, and he just asked for a bowl of cereal!

      Following/Stopping by from the stalker hop!


      1. Thanks Paula.
        I am following you now! I tried to leave a comment at your blog but couldn't figure how to do it. I could read the comments ok. The Pow Wow looked awesome...would have loved to have been there!
        Marcia :)

    4. I always love a good math problem (of course I taught math for 14 years). I am passing on the Versatile Blogger Award to you. You can check it out at Hope you are having a great day!

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

      1. Thank you Carrie for the AWARD! I truly appreciate it! Hope you and your family are having FUN today on Presidents' Day.
        I posted a 20% off everything coupon today for Michaels' Crafts. I know you do a lot of crafts. It's on my FB page.

    6. Excellent way of describing a figure and its formula.A rectangular prism is one of the solid figures which is actually a cuboid with six surfaces.So,its surface area is just addition of 6 faces.

    7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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