Home/Resources/Apple Tree Math

Apple Tree Math

Activity 34: Comparing sets of 1 to 3 objects


3 paper plates, each with a hand-drawn apple tree, and small circles cut out of paper for “apples” or a marker to draw apples

Try It Out:

  1. Place the 3 hand-drawn apple trees in front of your child. Place or draw 1 “apple” on 1 tree, 2 apples on another tree, and 3 apples on the third tree.
  2. Point to the tree with 2 apples and say, “This tree has 2 apples: 1, 2. Can you point to the tree that has more apples?”
    • If your child points to the correct tree, say, “That’s right. This tree has more apples. Let’s count them: 1, 2, 3.”
    • If your child points to the incorrect tree, say, “Let’s try again. This tree has only 1 apple. Let’s count them: 1. Here is the tree with more apples: 1, 2, 3.”
  3. Pointing again to the tree with 2 apples, say, “Now, point to the tree that has fewer apples.” Respond to your child’s answer as in number 2.

Making the Most of This Activity:

  1. Invite your child to count the apples after he points to the tree with more or fewer apples.
  2. Give your child some blank trees and let him place the apples on them before asking him which tree has more and fewer apples.


Was your child able to point to the trees with more and fewer apples? If not, try giving your child only 2 trees at a time.


American Institute for Research

Ready for more activities?


Related Resources


We need your support now more than ever to ensure all babies have access to the quality care, services and support they need to thrive.