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How Many on the Plate?

Read about activities that help young children with math and learning to recognize several objects in a set.

Activity 18: Recognizing how many objects in a collection


Plates and a handful of small objects, such as slices of banana, strawberries, or crackers

Try It Out:

  1. Help your child recognize how many objects are in a collection, such as banana slices on a plate.
    • Place 2 banana slices on a plate. Say, “This plate has 2 banana slices.”
    • Count together: 1, 2.
  2. Place 1 banana slice on a second plate. Say, “This plate has 1 banana slice.” Count together: 1.
  3. If your child can count 1 and 2 banana slices, try it with 3 slices.

Making the Most of this Activity:

Try the activity while looking at a picture book, such as one that shows animals. Ask, “How many bears are on this page?” Count them together.


Was your child able to count groups of items of 1, 2, and 3? If so, try counting a group of 4 objects.


American Institute for Research

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