Preschool Learning – Comparing Sizes Using Toys

comparing sizes using toys

I had a request from a reader for an example of a circle time learning activity.  This week my group were comparing sizes of objects.  They found the ‘biggest’ object in the group and the ‘smallest’ object.  They also described the size of an object compared to different items in the group.

I gathered together toys from the playroom in sets of three the Sunday before this activity.  I like to get my circle time activities ready for the week and then organize them in baskets that I keep in my storage room.  I find I’m too tired each evening after cleaning up to have energy for lengthy prep work for learning activities.  If I have the week organized into baskets (one for each day of the week) then I only have to grab that basket and bring it to the playroom for the next day.

One great thing about introducing a new concept is the opportunity to revisit the activity again and again.  Children need lots of opportunities to practice a new skill before they master it. They also find deep enjoyment in playing the same game over and over again.  This is the type of circle time activity that I would repeat for a few days.  The best way to learn a new skill is to review it the next day and then the next.  Revisiting the same concept for three days in a row will help to cement it for new learners. I would revisit it the next week to see how much vocabulary the children retained from the initial experience.  After the children have mastered a concept I review it a few times sporadically before building towards the next step.


I had these toy sets in my basket.  It consisted of three different sizes of books, cars, balls, ladybugs and snowmen. I placed them in sets of three around the kitchen, playroom and front entrance just before circle time.  My group likes to move so I had them take me on a voyage to the arctic to find three cold snowmen.  Once one child spotted the snowmen we all gathered around them and talked about the ‘comparing words.’  They took turns explaining why they considered one snowman bigger than another.  I helped them use the correct vocabulary.  For example, “The snowman with the blue and green scarf is bigger than the one with the red scarf.  The snowman with the brown scarf is smaller than the one with the red scarf.”


Once a few children had a turn to describe a snowman in relation to another one we moved on.  Next we went to an imaginary garden to search for ladybugs.  The game continued until all the objects had been found and each child had been given several opportunities to compare toy sizes for the group.  Is this the type of game your children would enjoy?



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