Observe the child in play with blocks, cars, plastic foods, rocks, or any sets of similar items.
Play with the child using similar items but in a different space. Observe the child’s play and when two or three of an item are together in a set, ask the child, “How many rocks do you have in your bowl?” Alternatively, say, “Let’s play a game. I’m going to hide some cars behind my back. Watch me and see if you can tell me how many I took.” Let the child watch you pick up two or three items and place them behind you.
See if the child can tell you the total amount without having to count the items.
Subitizing, or recognizing a total amount without having to count, is an important foundation for math. Encourage parents to observe their child’s ability to recognize small amounts.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.