Teaching Greater Than, Less Than

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This post is sponsored by Spielgaben, creators of colorful, heirloom quality educational materials. OPC readers can get a special discount on their manipulative set by reaching out to [email protected].

Less and More (1)

Little Miss is chugging along with her Kindergarten studies!

When I handed her the “more than, less then” worksheets from our math curriculum, I quickly realized that my little girl, who is so obsessed with everything getting the same amount of Frosted Flakes in their cereal bowl, had no idea what the greater than/less than symbols meant, or how to solve the problems.

So, we brought out our handy Spielgaben set and Math Guide, and got to work!

Our Spielgaben set came with a ton of lesson plans and worksheets, so I pulled out the lesson on More than, Less than from the Math Guide and got to work.

First, I introduced Little Miss to the equality and inequality symbols. We started the lesson by letting her just play around with the pieces (open play is always a great way to start!) and then I explained what those symbols meant.


I started by putting out small piles of manipulatives so she could count them, and then decide if the piles were equal or if one had more or less objects than the other. We did this again and again for a while before upping the challenge level!

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For the next activity, we rolled dice with numerals on them, and I had her name the number, count out the same number of pieces and decide if the numbers were more than, less than, or equal.

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Finally, we practiced comparing two digit numbers by rolling the dice – if she rolled a “6” and a “4” she had to decide which number was larger, 46 or 64 (and, say the numbers, which can be a challenge for a Kindergartener!). She stayed engaged with this game quite a while… everything is more fun when dice are involved!

Speilgaben’s Math Guide suggested playing this game with three digit numbers as well, but Little Miss isn’t quite ready for that yet! We’ll have to pull out that lesson again later to explore numbers more!

5 more ways to practice greater than/less than


1. Explain that More Than and Less Than symbols are like hungry alligators! Draw teeth on the symbols to show them “eating up” the larger number.

2. Use manipulatives, like our Spielgaben beads, to compare small numbers and see which one is greater. Little Miss stacked the beads up to see easily at a glance which number was greater

3. Write down numbers 1-10 on pieces of paper. Have your child arrange them in order from least to greatest. Young children can use manipulatives (for example, place three counting beads on the number three) so they can easily see the numbers growing in value as they put them in order.

4. Write numbers 1-10 (or for older children, larger numbers) and place them in a container. Pull two numbers from the container, and have your child decide which number is bigger (using manipulatives as needed).

5. Practice More and Less at snack time- prepare more than one bowl of snacks, and have your child estimate which bowl has more and which has less. Count the items in the bowl and let her decide which one she would like to eat.

Pin it for Later

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However you choose to practice more than, less than, your child is sure to pick up on it quickly! Check out Spielgaben on their website and don’t forget to email them to ask for the discount for OPC readers at [email protected]. This manipulative set and accompanying Play Guides are sure to provide your family with learning resources for years to come!

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