Comparisons are an important part of a child’s descriptive vocabulary as well as being a math and science concept. The more exposure that your child has to these concepts the more naturally they will use them. Many picture books and classic fairy tales offer opportunities to explore comparisons with children. For example, Goldilocks talks about porridge being hotter and colder and Three Billy Goats Gruff has larger and smaller goats.
A great seasonal picture book for exploring these comparisons is Amara’s Farm. Amara is looking for a pumpkin on the farm. On her way she finds many other fruits and vegetables that share shapes, colors or ways of growing, but they aren’t quite the same.
Comparrotives is a fun board book that explores comparisons one word at a time. The parrot gets messier, noisier and eventually happier when he meets a friend. With tactile elements, this book is great for babies as well as older toddlers.
Another great book to practice comparisons with is Which One Doesn’t Belong by Christopher Danielson. Any of the shapes could be the right answer, which gives children a chance to talk about their reasoning. It encourages them to look closer at the shapes and count sides or compare sizes.
Singing is another great way to explore comparisons. The fingerplay song “Two Little Blackbirds” lets you pretend to have birds named fast and slow, high and low, near and far, etc. You can even add your own lyrics.
Draw a picture of your family and talk about who is the oldest, youngest, tallest and shortest. Not only will children get to practice their comparisons, but drawing also helps strengthen fingers, improves hand-eye coordination and develops fine motor skills, which will prepare them to write later.
Play “one of these things is not like the other” with toys or objects around the house or have your child arrange their stuffed animals by size or color. Make sure to talk to them about their logic as you play so that they can practice problem solving and build their vocabulary.
Through talking, reading, singing, playing and writing you can build your child’s vocabulary relating to comparisons. Come to a storytime at any of our Chandler Public Libraries for more tips and tricks! - Crystal (Downtown)