Sharing Presents Equally

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.
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Sharing Presents Equally

  • To experience sharing equally
  • To use strategies for problem solving such as "use manipulatives," "guess and check"

Rectangles of colored paper for presents, colored paper circles for cookies, outlines of 3 pigs (1 set for each child), bowl
Prepare Paper cutouts ahead of time.

Literature Suggestion
Recall The Three Little Pigs. Ask, "If we were going to give each pig a present, how many presents would we need?" (3)

how many?
have the same number

It's birthday time for the three little pigs! Invite three children to be the pigs and ask the other children to sing "Happy Birthday" to them.


  • Hold up 3 rectangles and say they are presents for the pigs. Ask children how many they see.
  • Invite three other children to be the pigs. Tell children that each pig will get the same number of presents. Ask the children how many presents they think that each pig will get. Tell them that they can check by giving out the presents. (Use the "guess and check" strategy.) Ask a child to distribute the presents. Ask, "How many did each pig get?" (1)
  • Hold up 6 circle cookies and ask the children how they would figure out how to share the cookies among the pigs. (Responses may be "divide them up," or "pass them out.") Ask how many cookies they think each little pig will get. Have them check by having a child give the little pigs 1 cookie at a time until the 6 cookies are distributed. Ask: "How many cookies did each pig get?" (2) "Did each pig get the same number of cookies?" (Yes)
  • Ask children what getting the same number of cookies means. (Each pig gets 2 cookies.)
  • Provide each group with a bowl filled with small circles. Provide each child with outlines of 3 pigs.
  • Tell children that each pig must get the same number of cookies.
  • Have children take some cookies and put them on the pigs, then count to make sure that each pig has the same number of cookies.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child participates in problem solving and can explain that getting the same number of cookies means that every pig gets a fair share.
  • In Process - Child participates in the activity, but cannot explain what getting the same amount of cookies means.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child has difficulty participating or explaining same amounts.
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