Learning about the topic of “inequalities” is an important math skill. I remember learning that the “alligator” always eats the bigger number. This means that the opening of the greater than or less than sign would face or be “eating” the larger number.
To bring this skill to life for practice at home, you only need a few craft items. This includes popsicle sticks, markers, googly eyes, glue, and pompoms. You will take two popsicle sticks and glue them together at the ends to make the “greater than” and “less than signs”. You should also make a set of equal signs (these don’t need eyes). You can color them different colors to differentiate for your child, then add an eye to each of your “alligators”. The pompoms are used to represent the numbers. You would place a certain number to the left and then to the right and leave enough space in between for the greater than, less than, or equal signs.
To advance this skill set beyond comparing numbers you could also create number problems with addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division and then have the child solve the problems to the left and to the right and then add the appropriate inequality sign. One step further would to include problems that involve algebraic equations that have variables.
Here are some websites with examples of these activities:
Math Curriculum and Math Games by Smart Tutor
Article by Laura VanHellemont
Photo By OakleyOriginals