The perimeter of a shape is the length of its boundary. We add the length of every side to find the perimeter.
Think of the small character walking all the way around the box shown below. The perimeter is what he walks around to get to back to where he started.
Hint: Perimeter and area are often taught at the same time and it can be easy to confuse one with the other. Think of a memory prompt to help remember which is which.
How about P for perimeter, P for post , Fence posts will go all the way around the perimeter.
First side  4 cm 
Second side  3 cm 
Third side  4 cm 
Fourth side  3 cm 
Total ( 4 + 3 + 4 + 3)=  14 cm 
So what is the perimeter of the rectangle (the box) shown above?
It is 4 cm + 3 cm + 4 cm + 3 cm = 14 cm
What do we know about a rectangle?
Here are some examples
5  
4  
2 x Length = 2 x 5 = 10 or Length + Width = 5 + 4 = 9 
4  
3 

2 x Length = 2 x 4 = 8 or Length + Width = 4 + 3 = 7 
2  
6 

2 x Length = 2 x 6 = 12 or Length + Width = 6 + 2 = 8 
7  
3  
2 x Length = 2 x 7 = 14 or Length + Width = 7 + 3 = 10 
A quick way to find the perimeter of a rectangles is to add the length and width and then multiply by 2
A square is a type of rectangle so we can use the same method for calculating perimeter although there is an even easier way: since the 4 sides of a square are the same length, we just need to add the length 4 times. e.g. for a square with a side of 5 we have a perimeter of 5 + 5 + 5 + 5. Or, even more quickly, we can take the length and multiply by 4.
5  
5 
Perimeter = 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 20
or
Perimeter = 4 x Length
Perimeter = 4 x 5 = 20
You can find out more about different types of polygons here.
The perimeter of a polygon is the sum of the lengths of all its sides. The example below shows an irregular hexagon with a perimeter = 20 cm (3 cm + 3cm + 3cm +3cm + 4cm + 4cm)
A polygon whose sides are equal is called a Regular Polygon. All angles of a Regular Polygon are also equal.
To find the perimeter of a regular polygon, multiply the length of the side by the number of sides.
Shape/ Description 
Perimeter 


Pentagon 5 equalsided polygon 
Perimeter = 5 x length of side  
Hexagon 6 equalsided polygon 
Perimeter = 6 x length of side  
Heptagon 7 equalsided polygon 
Perimeter = 7 x length of side  
Octagon 8 equalsided polygon 
Perimeter = 8 x length of side 
Use the printable worksheets listed below to practice calculating perimeters.
You will find other printable geometry worksheets here.