Concept of Quantity
Learning about the concept of quantity is important for constructive play. At an early age, a child kicks his or her legs or bangs on an object, and then takes a short break. A child can hold his hand fisted as one item, or separate the fingers to see five individual fingers. When emptying a container, a child may understand there are a few toys, or many. Between the ages of one and two, a child will start to hold more than one object in his or her hand. A child gains an awareness of counting by interacting with multiples of objects. Because a child with disabilities may have difficulty holding onto more than one toy at a time, care should be given to create an environment where multiples are available. In the Little Room, hang items in groups of at least two or three.
Provide Position Boards with items of many shapes and sizes. When filling containers, be sure to have various balls, sticks, cups, plates, tubes, and so forth. A child may learn about adding objects or removing objects by using a Velcro or magnetic board filled with a variety of objects. This is the basis for addition and subtraction. Only by providing a multitude of objects can a child with special needs truly understand quantity.
Oliver Learning About Quantity, Size, and Shapes
Oliver learns about quantity by exploring many balls. In this activity he is also able to compare sizes sizes, containers of different shapes and sizes, and different sized openings. He begins to discover which objects will fit into which container.