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Language and Communication Activities to understand and use the concepts of big and little/small  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


These activities will help your child understand the concepts of big and little/small. When starting work on these concepts, choose either little or small and stick to this - you can introduce the other word, once your child is secure in their understanding of the concepts. For these activities, the word 'little' will be used but this can be substituted for the word 'small' if you wish.

If your child is finding it challenging to work on 2 opposite concepts at the same time, introduce one concept, e.g. 'big' and use the words 'not big' to describe the opposite. One your child has securely understood 'big', you can introduce the opposite concept, e.g. small.

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Early years skill:Understanding
Early years typical range:22-36m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Curriculum level:P6
TAP skill:Understanding of Language/Comprehension
TAP level:TAP36
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Big/little treasure hunt

- 2 boxes or baskets

- a selection of objects

- Optional big/little symbols - click here to print

  1. Print and cut out the big/little symbols if you wish to use them. 
  2. Talk to your child about big/little objects and show them the symbols.
  3. Explain you are going to have a hunt and find obejcts that are big/little and sort them into boxes.
  4. Look around the area you are in - for the first few goes, you choose an object you can see and tell your child whether it is big/little and place it in approriate box.
  5. After a few turns, encourage your child to choose an object and and talk about whether it is big/little, and place it in the correct box.

If your child is understanding these concepts well, you may wish to try some key word activities that can be found here: (add link)

Big/little sorting

1. Choose a selection of picture cards to sort - print and cut these out along with the big/little symbols.

2. Explain to your child that you are going to sort the pictures into whether the item is big/little.

3. Take turns at choosing a picture and sorting it on to hte correct symbol. Name the picture as you sort, e.g. 'big lion'. 

4. You could use a turn taking game alongside sorting to make the activity fun.

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