Math Fun for Teaching More or Less

Math Fun for Teaching More or Less

Favorite childhood game? I loved playing Hungry Hungry Hippos and now I get to see my son having the same enjoyment. I'm sure my daughter will love it too, but she still loves to put everything in her mouth.

So one day we were having a great time playing Hungry Hungry Hippos (HHH) and my teacher brain kicked on and it became more then just a fun game.

The first thing you can practice while playing HHH is to practice counting. After your hippos eat up all the marbles, put the marbles in a bowl or container lid or coaster (must have a small rim) and count how many marbles your hippo ate. Make sure the container is wide and open so that its easy to count the marbles and they can't roll away. Or you can hold the marbles in your hand and have your child take one at a time and count them. Choose the best way to help your child, depending on their counting skills. While doing this start modeling more or less by just showing the two containers with marbles and say "you have more or I have less." I would recommend only playing with 2 people to practice this, so its easier to tell more/less.

After practicing counting, then add the next step of comparing who has more or less. When I did this, my son understood the concept of more or less, so this lesson was practicing those skills. If this is a new concept for your child, model and make 2 piles with obvious differences in quantities and say "this one has more" or "this one has less." Then play HHH and practice who has more. Then I would say "If you have more/less, then I have _" and let my son fill in the blank.

The best thing about playing HHH and practicing more/less is that my son had no idea he was learning, he was just having fun. This is the best ways to teach your children because learning is fun.

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Jenny Sparmo

Jenny Sparmo


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  Lancaster, NY

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