Stimulate your child's grasp of the important concept of ordering and sequence by incorporating some simple activities and conversations into his time at home. Organizing and arranging sets of objects into a specific pattern using one-to-one correspondence will help him to understand the idea that numbers have a specific order (fewer to more) and that each number is one more than the number before. Additionally, performing and having discussions about these tasks with you will teach him valuable related vocabulary. These activities will be a bridge to the concepts of numbers and counting.
What You Do:
- Show your child piles of buttons or other objects that illustrate few, many, and more. Have conversations with your child about what these words mean.
- Give your child nesting objects, such as measuring cups and spoons, to play with. This will demonstrate to him ideas such as smallest, small, big, bigger, and biggest. Nesting objects are also good for illustrating the concept of top, middle, and bottom.
- Talk about family order in terms of heights and ages. Who is tall, taller, and tallest? Who is youngest and oldest? Who is in the middle?
- Encourage your child to put food cans and boxes in order from lightest to heaviest, shortest to tallest, and smallest to biggest. Discuss the sequence of items such as first, next, and last.
These are some good vocabulary words to demonstrate the concept of ordering. Use them at home whenever you can.
- Big, bigger, biggest
- Small, smaller, smallest
- First, next, last
- Heavy, heavier, heaviest
- LIght, lighter, lightest
- Long, longer, longest
- Short, shorter, shortest
- Tall, taller, tallest
- Small, medium, large
- Top, middle, bottom
- Few, many, more
Next time you visit the library, check out one of these books:
Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen. Putnam, 1996.
Is It Larger? Is It Smaller? by Tana Hoban. Greenwillow, 1985.
Blue Sea by Robert Kalan. Greenwillow, 1979.
How Big Is a Foot? by Rolf Myller. Dell, 1991.
Adapted with permission from "Count On Math: Activities for Small Hands and Lively Minds." Copyright 1997 by Pam Schiller and Lynne Peterson. Used with permission of Gryphon House, Inc., Maryland. All Rights Reserved.