The Meadows

Primary School

‘Play Together, Learn Together, Achieve Together’


Comparing different aspects such as length, weight and volume, as a preliminary to using units to compare later.

This includes:

  • Recognising attributes e.g. with length you would describe a stick as long but an adult would be described as tall, with capacity you would describe it as full or empty and with weight you would describe it as heavy etc.
  • Comparing amounts of continuous quantities.  Children find something that is longer/shorter or heavier/lighter than a given reference item. They will utilise strategies such as direct comparison, e.g. placing objects side by side to determine which is longer. Children compare sizes, lengths, weights and capacities verbally and begin to use more specific terms, such as ‘taller than’, ‘heavier than’, ‘lighter than’, and ‘holds more than’, as well as more general comparative phrases, such as ‘not enough’, ‘too much’, and ‘a lot more’.
  • Showing awareness of comparison in estimating and predicting with lots of practical experiences needed.
  • Comparing indirectly - children then move on to using one thing to compare with two others, if, for example, asked to put things in order of height, weight or capacity.
  • Recognise the relationship between the size and the number of units.
  • Begin to use and compare things.
  • Begin to use time to sequence things.
  • Begin to experience specific time durations e.g. how many hops can you do in 1 minute?

Things do can do at home to support your child in this area:

  • Play with playdough - roll out different lengths of snakes/worms and compare, or talk about the weight of two different weighted pieces of playdough.
  • Water and sand play - this is great for all things capacity related.  Have different containers, spoons etc in the bath and allow them to empty, fill, pour and talk about where their containers are full, empty or even, 'I wonder how many cups of water this bucket with hold?'
  • Make a simple mud kitchen in your garden and have various inexpensive recycled containers.
  • With time, chat to your child about their day and the timings involved e.g. it's 7 o'clock so we need to get up, at 8 o'clock we get dressed, school starts at 9 o'clock etc.