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Nesting Dolls

by Early Math Counts

Did you know that the original Russian nesting dolls always depicted a Russian woman with a big ol’ skirt hiding lots of children underneath?  The children were always sized as if she had given birth to one child per year for 10 years!  Can you imagine?  The littlest one was always her baby.

Now there are all sorts of nesting dolls that are a great manipulative for young children. Check out this website to see all of the different kinds of nesting dolls that are available.

The best thing that you can do with nesting dolls is to work with children on sequencing.  They usually don’t have a problem putting a smaller doll inside a bigger one, but putting all of the dolls, in order, together is quite a task.  I often try to put a set together and end up with one odd doll that I forgot about and then have to figure out where it goes.

Remember, young children cannot consider two aspects of a problem simultaneously.  Therefore, they can’t consider that one doll is smaller than one other and bigger than another at the same time.  So, it stands to reason that they can put a smaller one inside a bigger one, but not in between two of different sizes.

The best way to figure out the problem is to have the children line up the dolls in order from biggest to smaller or from smaller to biggest first.  Then, they start with the baby and place them inside one after another.  It really is quite satisfying to get all of the children back under their mother’s skirt.

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