Touch and Count Peter's Favorite Vegetables

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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Touch and Count Peter's Favorite Vegetables


  • To use manipulatives to understand quantity to 6
  • To count to 6

Paper outline of a rabbit; Paper vegetables: 6 orange carrots, 6 white onions, and 6 brown potatoes for each child; vegetable snacks (optional)
Prepare cutouts ahead of time.

Literature Suggestion
Read The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. Ask children to count the number of children in Peter's family. (4)

count     1
2 3
4 5

Tell children that Peter Rabbit loves vegetables; have children name vegetables they know. Ask the children who like carrots to stand up. (Count aloud the number of children who like carrots.) How many like onions? How many like potatoes? (Count aloud each group of vegetable lovers.)


  • Tell children that they are going to make a vegetable dinner for Peter Rabbit. Peter wants 6 vegetables for dinner, so help children count 6 carrots with you as you hold them up. Remove the carrots, then repeat the procedure using the onions and potatoes.
  • Have children work and count together at tables. Provide an outline of a rabbit and an assortment of paper vegetables. Model putting 6 vegetables onto the rabbit outline and counting. Remove them and put 6 different vegetables on the outline. Then have children place any arrangement of 6 vegetables on the outline, remove them, and place a new arrangement on the outline.
As children create different arrangements of vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes), work with them to discover addition sentences such as 2 + 2 + 2 = 6 as they arrange 2 carrots, 2 onions, and 2 potatoes or 3 + 3 = 6 as they arrange 3 carrots and 3 potatoes on the rabbit outline.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child easily counts out 6 vegetables and places them on the outline, or places 6 vegetables on the outline and then counts.
  • In Process - Child can count to 6, but needs help identifying a set of 6 vegetables.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not count to 6 or identify a set of 6 vegetables.
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