In this activity, your child will use pieces of yarn as “snakes” to practice the math skills of comparing lengths of objects and arranging them in order.
Before beginning, cut some yarn into different-length pieces. You can start with about four different lengths and then add more once your child gets the hang of this game.
Put the yarn pieces on the table or tray, say, “Look, these are my yarn snakes! Some of them are short and some are longer.” You can pretend to make the snakes hiss or wiggle. You can also pretend they are worms or caterpillars instead of snakes, if your child prefers. Next, talk about putting the “snakes” in order of length: “Let’s see if we can make our snakes line up next to each other in order of their lengths. Let’s start by picking two snakes to compare.”
Your child can then pick two pieces of yarn. Show your child how to make the “tails” of both snakes be right next to each other so they have the same starting point. Then smooth out each “snake” to its full length and see which one is longer. Once your child compares and lines up the first two snakes, have him pick another one. Help him compare the length of the new “snake” to the others and figure out where it belongs in the line-up, in order from shortest to longest snake.
One by one, add each new snake to the line-up according to its length. When all of the snakes are lined up by length, celebrate your child’s accomplishment! The snakes can have a dance party where they all wiggle together and get out of order again. If your child wants to play again, he can re-order the pile of snakes.