Toddlers are great at finding differences. They notice if you cut your hair, color your nails or move the furniture. Noticing differences is the foundation of classification. Early on, infants have amazing abilities to notice changes and differences in their environment. They can tell the difference between one stuffed bunny and two stuffed bunnies (quantity), one red bunny and one white bunny (colors) and a big bunny and a small bunny (size). Later on, these abilities help children distinguish between dogs and cats, dachshunds and German shepherds and horses and zebras. Before you know it, your child will tell you that a square has four corners and a triangle has three!
This printable activity has two puppies. Talk with your child about how these puppies are different. (One is big, one is little; one has a red collar, one has a blue collar; one has a green chest, one has a white chest; one has a spot around his eye; one is missing his tail; one has his tongue out.) How are they the same? (They are both dogs, they are both green, etc.) You can use this as an opportunity to talk not only about differences, but also about opposites such as small/big and tall/short. Extend this learning by talking about other opposites: hot/cold, up/down, high/low, etc.
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