Near or Far: Where Is the Taxi?

Use a School Readiness Activity to provide early mathematics thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.
Mathematics (4,996)

Updated on: October 15, 2004

Near or Far: Where Is the Taxi?


  • To experience the concepts of near and far

Taxi signs (pieces of yellow construction paper cut into simple car shapes with the word Taxi written on them); small yellow paper taxis or triangles; toy or paper airplane
Prepare cutouts ahead of time.

Literature Suggestion
Read The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra and Sal Barracca. Tell children that at the end of the story you will be asking them where the taxi went. (hospital, airport, circus)


Ask children where they have seen a taxi. (neighborhood, downtown, airport, train station, bus station, in a book)
Ask children to tell about times they have been in a taxi, or where they would like to go in a taxi.


  • Tell children that they are going to play "Where is the Taxi? Near or Far?" Invite 4 children to be taxis and give them taxi signs to hold. Tell children, "Far away is across the room and near is close to me." Have the taxis go far away. Then have them come near to you. The children then give their taxi signs to 4 others. Tell the new group to go far away and then tell them to come near and give their signs to 4 other children.
  • Tell the next group of children that you are going to change the directions. Tell children to go near the block area, go near the windows, go near to you, then far away.
  • Continue the activity until all children have experienced coming near to and going far away from several objects.
  • At tables, provide children with small yellow paper taxis or yellow rectangles to represent taxis.
  • Put a toy or paper airplane in a rectangle on the far side of the table to represent an airport.
  • Demonstrate directions children have learned (near, far, on, above, next to, under, in front of) in relation to the setups at the tables. Then provide "Show Me" requests such as, "Show me a taxi near you (near your neighbor, near another taxi, near your hand, etc.)."

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can demonstrate the concepts of near and far.
  • In Process - Child participates, but needs help when asked to go far or come near.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet differentiate between far and near.

Excerpted from

School Readiness Activity Cards
Pearson Early Childhood
Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.
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