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How Many Fingers?

Help young children with math and identifying the concepts of Same, More, Less, and Equal using How Many Fingers?

Activity 29


Just fingers!

Try It Out:

  1. Hold up both of your hands in front of your child. Hold up 1 finger on 1 hand and 2 fingers on the other hand.
  2. Say, “Do my hands show the same number of fingers?”
    • If your child says “No,” say, “That’s right, they are not the same.”
    • If your child says “Yes,” say in a light tone, “Noooo, they are not the same. This hand has 1 finger (wiggle it), and this hand has 2 fingers” (wiggle them).
  3. Hold up your hands again, and say, “Can you point to the hand that’s showing more fingers?”
    • If your child points to the correct hand, say, “That’s right, this hand shows more fingers.
    • If you child points to the wrong hand, say, “Oops! This 1 has more fingers” (wiggle the fingers on the correct hand).
  4. Say, “Can you point to the hand that’s showing fewer fingers?”
  5. If your child can recognize more, fewer, and the same, try this. Hold up both hands. Hold up 2 fingers on both hands. Ask the first question again, but this time use the word equal instead of same: “Do my hands show an equal number of fingers?” If your child doesn’t understand, you can explain: “Equal means the same.”

Making the Most of This Activity:

  1. Try this activity during different routines (such as playtime, mealtime, dressing, or bath time).
  2. Let your child be the one to hold up fingers while you identify morefewersame, and equal.


Was your child able to identify and use the words correctly? If not, start with more and fewer first and then move on to the others.


American Institute for Research

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