Comparing

Comparing
Shapes, lengths, widths, quantities: everything can be compared in math! Your toddler will learn this quickly enough, especially if you stimulate his interest by focusing on him.

Shapes, lengths, widths, quantities: everything can be compared in math! Your toddler will learn this quickly enough, especially if you stimulate his interest by focusing on him: “Your fingers are longer than the baby’s,” or, “You and I both have the same number of toes. Let’s count them together!” Books can help, too. For example, if your child is looking at a book on transportation methods, you can ask him which goes faster or slower (e.g.: a car or a plane?). If he’s looking at a book on animals, you can ask him which is the biggest or smallest, etc.

A few ideas…

“Card games such as War are very useful for comparing quantities. If a 3 of clubs challenges an 8 of hearts, a child will quickly understand which card has more elements and wins the battle. However, if a 7 faces an 8, you can encourage your child to count each element on the card (e.g., the number of clubs or hearts). The advantage is that the numbers are written right there on the card and associated with the quantity.”
- Jacinthe Giroux, Montreal

“It’s easy to explain concepts such as ‘one’ or ‘many,’ ‘as many as,’ ‘more than’ and ‘less than’ using blocks, tokens or buttons. Nesting toys are good for comparing sizes.”
- Isabelle Moreau, Montreal

Are girls at a disadvantage in math?
When it comes to fostering mathematical thinking, it appears that little girls are at a disadvantage: a recent study revealed that mothers talk about mathematical concepts twice as often to their sons (ages 20 to 27 months) compared to their daughters. Researchers claim that this fact influences the differences in career choices among boys and girls.