Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers

Mealtime: Big/Little

Math Component Routine
• Geometry
• Operations and Algebra
• Mealtime

Snapshot of Development: 0 to 6 Months

Play:

Infants begin by using their eyes to explore toys and then begin to use their hands and mouths to explore. Their play is primarily shaking, banging and mouthing. At the end of this stage, they begin to look for dropped toys and may find a partially hidden object.

Communication:

Young infants recognize their parents and familiar caregivers. They smile and laugh during playful interactions, such as peek-a-boo. They make early cooing and babbling sounds.

Motor:

When on their tummies, infants learn to hold their head up and reach for toys. They begin to reach and grasp for objects, beginning with the care-givers clothes and hair and then moving to toys and objects. At the end of this stage, many infants may help hold their own bottle and help bring the bottle to their mouths. They may also begin to take pureed food from a spoon.

Materials:

Bottle
Doll baby bottle
Bibs(2) one BIG and one LITTLE
Spoons(2) one BIG and one LITTLE
Bowl with pureed fruits or vegetables

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Interactions:
 Bottle-feeding Show the infant two bibs one LITTLE bib and one BIG bib.  Encourage the infant to look from one to the other or reach for one or the other.  When the infant looks at or reaches for one of the bibs say “(Child’s name) you picked the BIG bib” or “(Child’s name) picked the LITTLE bib.  Put the bib the infant chose on her.  Say “you have on a BIG bib” or “you have on a LITTLE bib.”  Show the infant two bottles, her bottle and the doll bottle.  Encourage the infant to look from one to the other. Say “(Child’s name) has a BIG bottle”, when the child looks at or reaches for her bottle.  Give the infant her bottle.   When the infant finishes the bottle, show the infant the empty BIG bottle, say “(child’s name) finished the BIG bottle,” showing the infant the BIG bottle.  Then show her the LITTLE bottle and say “this is a LITTLE bottle.  As you remove the bib from the infant say “Let’s take off the BIG bib” or “Let’s take off LITTLE bib” depending on which bib the infant is wearing.  Show the infant the BIG bib and say “this is a BIG bib” and then show the infant the LITTLE bib and say “this is a LITTLE bib.” Spoon-feeding Show the infant the BIG spoon and the LITTLE spoon.  Encourage the infant to look from one to the other or reach for one or the other.  As you show the infant the LITTLE spoon, say “(child’s name) eats with a LITTLE spoon.”  As you show the infant the BIG spoon say “(your name) eats with a BIG spoon.”  As you feed the infant, repeat “(child’s name) eats with a LITTLE spoon.”  When the infant looks at the spoon and opens her mouth, give her a spoonful of food.  Every few bites, bring the BIG spoon towards your own mouth and say “(your name) eats with a BIG spoon.”

Snapshot of Development: 6 to 12 Months

Play:

At the beginning of this stage, play is mostly shaking, banging, and mouthing toys. By the end of this stage, infants begin to combine objects that go together in play. They reach for and hold two objects and may begin to reach for a third. Many infants will look for dropped toys and find partially and completely hidden toys. Many infants enjoy taking things out and putting things into containers.

Communication:

At this age, infants respond when their name is called. They may turn their head, make eye contact and sometimes smile and vocalize. They may look for family members and pets when called by name. They may respond to simple requests made with gestures, such as, “Come here,” and they may understand “No” or “Stop.” They may lift their arms to be picked up, clap hands, and wave bye-bye. They love to shout and squeal and may be babbling with many different sounds. They may be participating in and sometimes initiating peek-a-boo.

Motor:

During this stage, many infants begin to sit by themselves and play. They begin to move by rolling, crawling, and cruising. They pick up toys by using a raking motion with their whole hand and by the end of this stage they are using their fingers and thumbs to pick up small objects. They may feed themselves small bits of food.

Materials:

Spoons(2) one BIG and one LITTLE
LITTLE bowl with mashed fruits or vegetables
BIG bowl with a snack for yourself

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Interactions:
 Spoon feeding Show the infant the BIG spoon and the LITTLE spoon.  Encourage the infant her to reach for one or the other.  Depending on which spoon the infant chooses say “(child’s name) has the LITTLE spoon” or (child’s name) has the BIG spoon.”  Allow the infant to play with the spoon for a minute or two.  Then hold out your hand and say “give (your name) the BIG spoon or LITTLE spoon” depending on which spoon the infant chose to play with for a minute.  Show the infant the LITTLE spoon and LITTLE bowl, say “(child’s name) eats with a LITTLE spoon and a LITTLE bowl.”  As you show the infant the BIG spoon and BIG bowl say “(your name) eats with a BIG spoon and a BIG bowl.”  As you feed the infant, repeat “(child’s name) eats with a LITTLE spoon and a LITTLE bowl.”  Every few bites, feed yourself from the BIG spoon and BIG bowl and say “(your name) eats with a BIG spoon and a BIG bowl.”

Snapshot of Development: 12 to 18 Months

Play:

At the beginning of this stage, many infants are imitating the use of everyday objects, such as cups and spoons. This moves into early pretend play where the infant may feed you, or pretend to drink from a cup or eat off of an empty spoon. They also are great imitators and may enjoy imitating daily activities. They may enjoy putting multiple objects in containers and systematically searching for hidden toys and objects. Many infants will pat pictures in books and sometimes vocalize while looking at books.

Communication:

At the beginning of this stage, many infants begin to respond to one step directions, such as, “Give me the ball.” They may need gestures to help them understand the direction. At the end of this stage, many infants follow a related two-step direction without the help of gestures, such as, “Get the ball and give it to Daddy.” They may be pointing to ask for wants and needs and to ask you to name objects. At around 12 months of age, many infants say 1-3 words on their own and by the end of this stage may say up to 15 or more words. Many infants play turn-taking games at this stage.

Motor:

At the beginning of this stage, many infants are crawling and cruising to get around, and by the end of this stage, infants are walking with good balance. They may also enjoy walking while carrying large objects and pulling toys. When given a crayon for the first time, they may mouth the crayon or mark the paper. By the end of this stage, many infants are scribbling on paper. They may be starting to scoop food with a spoon and actually get some to their mouths. Infants may also be using a straw or open cup to drink.

Materials:

Spoons(2) one BIG and one LITTLE
LITTLE bowl with mashed fruits or vegetables
BIG bowl with a snack for yourself
LITTLE crackers
BIG crackers

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Interactions:
 Spoon feeding Show the infant the BIG spoon and the LITTLE spoon.  Encourage the infant her to reach for one or the other.  Depending on which spoon the infant chooses say “(child’s name) has the LITTLE spoon” or (child’s name) has the BIG spoon.”  Allow the infant to play with the spoon for a minute or two.  Then hold out your hand and say “give (your name) the BIG or LITTLE spoon” depending on which spoon the infant chose to play with for a minute.  Show the infant the LITTLE spoon and LITTLE bowl, say “(child’s name) eats with a LITTLE spoon and a LITTLE bowl.”  As you show the infant the BIG spoon and BIG bowl say “(your name) eats with a BIG spoon and a BIG bowl.”  Allow the infant to practice spoon feeding herself.  As the infant feeds herself, repeat “(child’s name) eats with a LITTLE spoon and a LITTLE bowl.”  As you eat yourself from the BIG spoon and BIG bowl and say “(your name) eats with a BIG spoon and a BIG bowl.” Finger Foods Place a few BIG and LITTLE crackers on the infant’s tray.  Allow the infant to begin finger feeding. Pick up a BIG cracker and a LITTLE cracker, ask the infant “(Child’s name) do you want a BIG cracker or a LITTLE cracker?” Allow the infant to choose, if the infant chooses the BIG cracker from the tray say “(child’s name) is eating a BIG cracker.”  If the infant chooses the LITTLE cracker say “(child’s name) is eating a LITTLE cracker.”   Continue to allow the infant to feed herself, saying “BIG cracker or LITTLE cracker” depending on which one the infant picks up and eats.

Reflections on this Lesson

"How could I teach the math lesson  - LITTLE and BIG during other daily activities and routines?"

"What books do I have in my child care setting that include the math concept –LITTLE and BIG?"

"What songs or finger plays do I typically use in my child care setting that support the math concept – LITTLE and BIG?"

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