Whenever we talk about perimeter, I tell the kids to think about building a fence around the object. Whenever we talk about area, I tell them to think about the floor space that the object would cover. These provide a visual for them to connect with.
I was lucky to come across a great free math activity from Blair Turner that I introduced to my students today. It was a big hit. The kids got to design their own dream houses. They really liked the sample one that Blair made and it caused them to become very creative with their own designs. Click on the image below to go to her TpT store and get your own copy.