Groups in Groups

Recommended Age: 4+ | Mathematical Topic: Early Arithmetic

A group of objects that contains some items of different shapes, colors, or sizes (ex. green and red apples, Legos, building blocks, Matchbox cars, etc.).

What To Do

Start by having your child count all of the objects in a group. Then, ask your child to only count a certain type of object in that group. Discuss the relationship between the total group and the selected type of object with your child.

Example: If you have ten Legos and four of them are red:

“Can you count how many Legos we have?”

“Now, can you count how many Legos are red?”

“We have ten Legos, but only four of the ten Legos are red.”

What To Know

Children may be able to count a group of items, or a specific type of item in a group with ease, but by exploring the relationship between the two, you can help your child begin to think about part-whole relationships, an important first step in proportional reasoning and understanding fractions.

Moving On

Move on when your child is able to accurately respond to questions about the relationship between the whole group and a specific type of item in that group. If your child can easily answer questions like “How many of the ten Legos are red?” or “There are four red Legos, but how many Legos are there all together?”, then your child is ready for a new challenge!