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How to Teach Big and Little to Kids

I love to share lesson plans with other teachers and homeschooling parents.


Teaching Big and Little to Preschool Age Kids

All kids learn at their own speed, but the majority of kids are ready to learn prenumber math concepts as toddlers, or preschoolers. Teaching the concept of big and little, or large and small, allows children to compare, sort, and classify by size in later math activities. Introduce the concept early and if the child doesn't catch on immediately, that is alright. Continue to talk about big and little items in everyday life and use the activities mentioned below. Soon your child will understand how to compare sizes and know the difference between big and little, or large and small.

Introducing the Concept of Big and Little

Learning Large and Small

The prenumber concept of big and little can be taught early by observing things in daily living that are the same, but vary in size. For example, If you have two red squares that are otherwise the same, except one is larger, help the child make the observation of "big and little."

Another idea for introducing the lesson into daily activities is to play the game "so big." It helps them understand the concept of growing bigger and compare and contrast big and little.

Games and Activities to Learn Big and Little

Teaching Big and Small to Toddlers and Preschoolers

Materials You Will Need:

* Two boxes of the same shape and color, one should be big and one should be small. (Nesting boxes and cups are good for this. Simply choose a big and small box or cup of the same color.)

* A big book and a little book

* A big shoe and a little shoe

* A big sock and a little sock

* A big car and a little car

* A big ball and a little ball

Begin with one set of big and little objects listed above. Tell the child which one is big and which one is little. Have them repeat big and little, pointing to the object as they say it. Offer the next set of objects and ask the child to point to the big object. Then the little object. If the child does not know, simply continue to offer the correct answer until they grasp the concept. When the child can find the large and small object consistently without guidance from you, they have mastered the game.

Incorporating Big and Little into Daily Life

Continue to talk to your child about big and little in daily life. If you observe something in a store that is big or little, point it out to them. Compare serving sizes of big and little at dinner time. Ask them while painting if they can make a small circle, and a large circle. Show them little people toys and ask them if they are "big or little." Help the child understand that big, little and large, small are different words with the same meaning. Interchange the words big, and large, or little and small to help the child generalize the concept to both words.

Worksheets to Teach Big and Little - Free Printable Worksheets to Teach Big and Little to Preschool and Kindergarten


Practice matching big and little letters to one another with this free, printable worksheet from "Match the big "A" to the little "a."

Big and Little Worksheet

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  • This is a fun sense of hearing worksheet from for Kindergarten level students. The instructions reinforce that hearing is done with the ears and asks the child to draw something that they would hear at the zoo. This worksheet could begin a conversation about other zoo sounds. Why stop there? Discuss sounds you hear in a city, on a farm, at a music concert, etc. The possibilities are endless.

    Learn "Big" as a Sight Word

  • More practice for kids to write and recognize the sight words big and litt.e

    Write Both Sight Word "Big" and "Little"

Big and Little from YouTube

There are several videos here to enforce the concept of big and small. Choose a video thumbnail below to change the videos.

© 2010 hsschulte

Comments on Teaching Kids Big and Small - Do you have ideas or comments? Leave them here!

Emma on January 26, 2015:

Also a free resource with printable big-small worksheets for Kindergarten!

LearnKidstoRead on November 17, 2013:

Really enjoyed this lens thanks. Sue

anonymous on July 22, 2013:

good ideas on teaching big and small in kids

WriterJanis2 on February 20, 2012:

Very good ideas for kids.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on May 06, 2011:

Absolutely adorable article. Lol...Beaker was always one of my favorite sesame street characters. There are so many though.

Jeremy from Tokyo, Japan on September 24, 2010:

My memory may be playing tricks on me, but I think I remember Grover from Sesame Street doing a big-little session, something like his famous "Near and Far.*

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