Which Has Less?


Children look at items and compare by understanding difference, (big/small, tall/short). Comparison activities will provide the necessary understanding of key math concepts.

Tools and Materials

A variety of containers and water, sand or rice.
Use objects around the house, toys and books.

Steps to take

Steps detailed below

At Home

If you have a few minutes

  • While playing with sand, water, rice, or snow using similar sized containers, fill them up to different levels and ask your child which has more/less (great opportunities for this play are in the pool or bathtub). You can also ask if a container is full or empty.
  • Line up two rows of checkers, one longer than the other and ask your child, "Which row has more?, less?"
  • Compare quantities of a snack- "I have 5 strawberries and you have 3, who has less?"
  • Build Lego/Duplo towers with your child, say, "my tower has 10 blocks, yours has 4, whose is taller?"
  • At mealtime, compare whether there are more spoons or forks on the table; more girls or boys at the table, etc.


On the Go

If you have a few minutes 

  •  When getting ice cream look at the ice cream parlor, or popcorn at the movies, look at the possible containers and talk about which is big, bigger, biggest.
  • At the library compare the size of books or make two stacks of books and ask which is taller, after your child arrives at an answer have them count each pile, "This pile has 2, this one has 5 so the pile has more books and is taller."
  • Compare sizes at the grocery store, "Which jar of peanut butter is bigger? This one costs $2.00 and this one costs $3.00 but look how much more you get!"
  • At the library check out stories of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Billy Goat's Gruff both great stories when using comparing words.

Words to Know

more and less full and empty. big and small long and short compare    different

Possible Observations

Compares sizes of objects; compares amounts; uses comparison words; answers questions; participates in conversations