Series: Focus on Play

Comparison Using Tubes with Toddlers

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A moment between adult and toddler using balls and tubes is an opportunity to explore important “precursor” concepts of math that begin very early. In this case, we see how comparison is something that comes along often in everyday life and in play. This early exploration with comparison builds the foundations of thinking about measurement as young children move on to preschool and beyond.

Read more about precursor topics and their related concepts: Precursor Topics.

Why is this important?

The teacher’s language labels the implicit comparison between various sizes of tubes. The ball won’t fit in the narrower tube, but it goes through the bigger–the wider–one. She shares her attention and responds to the interests of the toddler.

Source: Erikson Institute • Copyright: Erikson Institute • Content ID: ED507-170214-20

More in the Focus on Play series

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Value of Blocks in Kindergarten

A kindergarten teacher makes a strong case for how time spent playing with blocks supports mathematical thinking and learning in her classroom.

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