Vegetable Soup for Talking About Measurement and Size

As you make tasty soup, your child can compare vegetables and describe them in terms of longer and shorter. Using these vocabulary words can really help with early measurement skills!


Activity Summary

Make vegetable soup. Carrots or celery can be lined up and their lengths can be compared. Our tips will help you start the conversation while you cook.



2 large potatoes

4 stalks of celery

5 carrots

3 tomatoes

1 onion

8 cups (2 quarts) vegetable or chicken broth

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to taste

Possible additions: pre-cooked chicken breast or thighs, or canned beans like white beans


  1. Everyone washes their hands with soap and water while counting to 20 before starting to cook.
  2. Wash the potatoes, celery, carrots, and tomatoes. 
  3. Peel the potatoes. 
  4. Cut all vegetables (including the onion) into bite-sized pieces. 
  5. Add all vegetables to the pot. 
  6. Pour 6 cups of broth into the pot. 
  7. Add spices and stir the pot. 
  8. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. 
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender. This should take about 20-30 minutes.

Math Tips

  • When you’re chopping the vegetables, say, “Here are two celery stalks. Which one is longer and which one is shorter? How do you know?”
  • Sometimes children compare incorrectly because they don’t line up the celery sticks side by side at the same “starting line.” You may need to show your child how to line up the celery or give them a starting line (“Line up the celery so each piece is touching the end of the cutting board and then see which one is longer”).
  • Have your child compare more than two pieces of celery. Give them three and have them place them in order from shortest to tallest. You could also give them a mix of carrots and celery stalks and have them order the entire set of vegetables from shortest to tallest.
  • You can also ask them to reverse the order so the vegetables are lined up from longest to shortest.
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