Beach and bath time

Whether your child is playing in the bath or sandpit or at the beach, give them containers of different sizes and shapes. Then, get them to estimate which container holds the most, and ask they why think that before testing it out.

Things you need

  • Buckets or containers of varying size and shape.

The challenge

Step 1

Give your child the different containers to play with.

Step 2

Ask them to predict which container will hold the most sand or water. Get them to arrange the containers in order of the one that'll hold the least to the one that they predict will hold the most.

Step 3

Now help your child test out their thinking. How can they find out which container holds the most? They can try filling one up with water, then pouring that water into the next container. Does it all fit? Is there room for more? They can also do this with sand.

The conversation

During the activity, ask them these questions to support their mathematical learning and understanding:

  • "Were you surprised that this short, fat container holds more water than this tall, skinny container?"
  • "Let's use this small container as a way to measure the water. How many small containers full of water are needed to fill these bigger containers over here?"

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