The carrots we bought this week were in such a variety of sizes, that our ever ambitious Finny (aged 5) suggested teaching Cian about size order.


  • Carrots
  • Ruler


Finny started off by explaining what it meant to put the carrots in size order.

Cian always sorts objects in to size by naming them, “Daddy, Mummy, Ioan, Finn, Cian and Pilli”. Sometimes if he has a small object, he names it Soo, after his puppet from Sooty. Finn decided that this was the way to teach Cian.

Finn did very well with his attempts to educate a hungry toddler.

After Cian had finished feeding Soo her carrot, we tried to get him to say the names. Cian (2 years and 2months) is a very reluctant talker.

Finny has always been a big talker, so doesn’t understand Cian’s reluctance to use language. He has made it his personal mission to get him talking!

Finn got to work finding the opposite pairs of size comparisons.

He then added the size comparisons to the carrots.

Finn used a ruler to measure the length of the carrots.

I asked him to work out the difference in size between his smallest carrot (11cm) and largest carrot (23cm). He used the ruler like a number line to count up from 11cm to 23cm. This gave him a difference of 12cm.

Finny worked out that his largest carrot was the same length as his two smallest carrots combined. 12cm + 11cm = 23cm. He set them out in a sum, shown in the final picture below.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add or subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 1 programme of study

Number – measurements

  • compare, describe and solve practical problems for lengths and heights [for example, long/short, longer/shorter, tall/short, double/half]
  • measure and begin to record lengths and heights

Pupils move from using and comparing different types of quantities and measures using non-standard units, including discrete (for example, counting) measurement, to using manageable common standard units. In order to become familiar with standard measures, pupils begin to use measuring tools such as a ruler.

Number – addition and subtraction

  • write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+), subtraction (–) and equals (=) signs