- 8 cups, glasses, or mugs that all look the same and are not see-through.
- 28 of the same small object, like beans or buttons, that fit under the cups.
Playing The Game
- On a flat surface, make two piles of 2 objects, two piles of 3 objects, two piles of 4 objects, and two piles of 5 objects. There will be 8 piles in all, and each cup should have a matching pair. Small objects are choking hazards, so supervise children carefully.
- Put a cup upside down over each pile so the objects are hidden underneath.
- Carefully slide the cups and objects underneath them around to mix up the order.
- Arrange the cups in two rows of four.
- Have your child turn over a cup. Ask: How many are there?
- With the first cup still turned over, have your child turn over a second cup. Ask: How many are there? Are the piles the same or different? How do you know?
- If the piles are the:
- Same (matching): Hooray! Your child can remove the two cups and piles of objects, and place them next to himself/herself.
- Different (not matching): Try again! Your child puts the cups back over the piles.
- Keep playing until all matching cups are found.
Tips for Having Math Conversations
- During setup, have your child help you prepare the materials for the game. This is a fun way to practice counting!
- Can you count three to put under this cup?
- How many do I have here? Can you make a group with the same number of [objects]?
- You just made a group of three, what number comes after three? Can you make a group of four?
- During counting, if your child makes a mistake while counting, that’s OK! You can encourage your child. Can you try again?
- If your child counts an object twice or misses an object while counting, show them how you can put the objects in a line to count, or move them aside while counting.
- When objects are in a group like this, it can be hard to know which ones you have counted and which ones you haven’t counted yet. Sometimes it helps to put them in a line.
- Another way to keep track of what you have counted is to move them aside as you count them.
- Make smaller piles of objects (1 to 3 objects per cup).
- Include fewer cups (4-6 cups).
- After lifting the cup, write down the number of objects in the pile on a piece of paper next to the cup.
- Use objects that are similar but not the same, such as beads or buttons of different colors and/or sizes.
- Use objects that are completely different.
- Make larger piles of objects (5-10 objects per cup).
- Include more cups (8-12 cups).