Games & Play / Jump Starters Disponible en español

Scavenger Hunt

“Find one thing that’s taller and one thing that’s shorter.” This activity asks children to think about and search for things that come in different sizes and shapes.

Activity Summary

This activity uses objects from around the house to encourage movement and conversation about size and shape.

Instructions

How to Play

Look around your home and neighborhood for things in different shapes, sizes, numbers, and amounts. Every time you find something, try to describe it with at least three math words. Here are some ideas to get you started. Try to come up with some of your own, too!

Search for Shapes

Here are some sample directions to practice with shapes:

  • Find three different triangles.
  • Find three quadrilaterals (things with four sides).
  • Find three things with more than four sides.
  • Create your own using words from the Math Tips list, or shapes you see around the house.

Search for Numbers, Sizes, and Amounts

Here are some sample directions to practice with shapes:

  • Find one thing that’s taller and one that’s shorter.
  • Find something that’s smaller than your hand.
  • Find something that’s shorter and wider than you are.
  • Find something that’s empty.
  • Find five things that start with the letter C.
  • Find one container that’s close to empty and one container that’s close to full.
  • Create your own using words from the Math Tips list, or amounts you see around the house.

Math Talk While Playing

When you find some objects, talk about them together:

  • Ask questions like, “How do you know?
  • Compare and contrast things by talking about what’s the same and what’s different.
  • Use hand gestures to point to the sides, points, or curves of things.

Math Words to Try

See if you can use any of these words when you ask your child to look for something:

  • round
  • curved
  • straight
  • flat
  • side
  • edge
  • point
  • symmetrical
  • long, short
  • narrow, wide
  • equal, unequal
  • corner
  • angle
  • most, least
  • more, less, fewer
  • some, all, none
  • part, whole
  • empty, full
  • big, little, large, small
  • long, short, tall
  • narrow, wide

Variations

  • Make your own scavenger hunt using any other math words!
  • Just say the clues aloud or make your own checklist.
  • Keep track of things you find by drawing pictures or taking photos.
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