Here’s an easy hands-on way for toddlers to hone their concept of short and tall! I saved up toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes for about a week, then cut the collection into varying lengths so we had six sizes ranging from shortest to tallest. You can invite your toddler to decorate these with markers, or do as I did and cover in pretty patterned paper.
First, I simply set out the tubes for Veronika to observe and play with. When I asked her to find me the shortest…
…she could! Likewise for the tallest.
For added fun, we read a favorite book about height (Usborne Book’s Taller and Shorter), which compares the heights of animals. Veronika and I pretended each tube was an animal and lined them up in a row as the story went on!
When I asked her if she could sort all six tubes from shortest to tallest, the concept was clearly too advanced for her, so much so that she sort of tuned out the question.
That said, she was able to tell the comparative size between two tubes easily (which was shorter, which was taller), and we’ll work up to the next step eventually!