Dividing Sets of Objects

Recommended Age: 3+ | Mathematical Topic: Comparing & Ordering Quantities

Small objects from your home

What To Do

1 Ask your child to divide a set of objects into parts. As you do, use words that describe quantities, such as “all”, “some”, “many”, “another”, or “none”. For example: If you are playing with blocks, you might ask, “Can you put MOST, but not ALL, of the blocks in this bin?”
2 Point out that the child has divided the larger set of object into parts. For example: “See, now out of all the blocks, most are in the bin and a few are not in the bin.”
3 Re-set the blocks and start again, using different words such as “all”, “some”, “many”, “another”, or “none”.

What To Know

This activity teaches your child about what mathematics educators call “part-whole relationships” and “quantifier words.” Part-whole relationships are the relationships between parts of a set (a few blocks) and the whole set (all of the blocks). Learning about part-whole relationships is the first step to understanding fractions and proportions. Quantifier words are words that informally describe quantities (such as “all,” “some,” or “many”). Even if your child isn’t able to count items yet, you can still help them to explore part-whole relationships using quantifier words instead of number words.

Moving On

Once your child is more familiar with number words and counting, you can begin replacing the quantifier words in this activity with numbers.

See it in action