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Matching Sets of Rocks

Activity 36: Comparing sets of 1 to 5 objects


Plates or containers and 11 rocks or other small objects

Try It Out:

  1. Place 3 plates (1 with 1 rock, 2 with 5 rocks each) in front of your child.
  2. Point to 1 of the plates with 5 rocks and say, “Can you find the plate that is the same as this one?”
    • If your child points to the correct plate, say, “That’s right. These 2 plates are the same. They have the same number of rocks.”
    • If your child points to the incorrect plate, say, “Let’s try again,” and help him find the correct plate.
  3. Continue playing this game, using different numbers of rocks on the plates, making sure that 2 of the plates are the same each time.
    • If your child has difficulty finding the plates that are the same, try using smaller numbers of rocks on the plates.

Making the Most of this Activity:

Try this activity using different objects, such as snacks at mealtime or clothing items during dressing.


Could your child find the plates with the same number of rocks? If not, he may not be ready for this activity. Focus on plates filled with 1 or 2 rocks as a first step and add more rocks later.


American Institute for Research

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