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What’s In the Bowl?

Activity 35: Comparing collections of 1 to 3 objects


Small baskets or containers each filled with 1 to 3 small objects, such as blocks or pieces of cereal

Try It Out:

  1. Place 2 baskets (1 filled with 1 block, the other with 3 blocks) in front of your child.
    • Point to the basket with 3 objects and say, “This basket has more blocks than this basket.” Point to the basket with 1 object and say, “This basket has fewer blocks than this basket.”
  2. Ask your child to point to the basket with more blocks.
    • If your child points to the correct basket, say, “That’s right. This basket has more blocks.” If your child points to the incorrect basket, say, “Let’s try again.” Help your child point to the basket with more blocks.
    • Repeat, this time asking which basket has fewer blocks.
  3. Change the baskets so that one has 2 blocks and the other has 3 blocks. Ask your child to point to the basket with fewer blocks. Respond to your child’s answer as in number 2.

Making the Most of This Activity:

  1. Let your child help dump and fill the baskets before asking him which basket has more or fewer objects. Look for opportunities throughout the day to talk about more and fewer. At mealtime, ask your child which bowl has more or fewer carrots.
  2. Introduce the word less to talk about a cup with less milk.


Can your child recognize more and fewer objects? If not, your child may need a little more practice before she can do this consistently.


American Institute for Research

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