Studies at Home for Twos: Week Three

Read Time: 7 minutes
Erin Seagraves
Content Development Manager, Teaching Strategies
June 1, 2020

This is the fourth post of a five-part series, Studies at Home for Twos. Each Monday, for a total of four weeks, Erin Seagraves, author of many resources in The Creative Curriculum, will be sharing guidance to engage your child in a hands-on study of containers at home.

Welcome to week 3 of Studies at Home for Twos! Over the last two weeks, you and your child have identified different types of containers, investigated how to open and close them, and discovered what they hold.

Developing the Skill of Comparison

Two-year-old children are at the beginning stage of learning to make comparisons. They may notice when two items are the same color or match two identical shapes together. Investigating how containers are the same and different gives children an opportunity to practice comparing and categorizing while exploring the physical properties of objects such as their color, shape, and size.

Week 3 Activities: How are containers the same and different?

Outlined below are five activities to explore with your child. You may choose to do one or a few activities each day––whatever works best for you and your child! If you notice your child losing interest in an activity, take a break and try again later. Repetition is an important element in young children’s learning, because each time they engage with the materials they are building on what they know. Additionally, if you do not have the suggested material for an activity, feel free to swap it out for something you already have on hand.

Activity 1: Big and Small Containers

  • Show your child a few of the smallest and largest containers from your home.
  • Invite your child to fill the containers with items such as blocks, balled-up socks, or balls.
  • Count the items with your child as you fill the container together. Say, “Big containers can hold more things than small containers.”
  • Support your child to notice that bigger containers hold more items and small containers hold fewer items.

Count With Me
Most two-year-old children are familiar with some number words and may count up to five objects accurately. An activity like this gives you an opportunity to model how to count in order and use one-to-one correspondence. As you count, point at each object as you say the number to help reinforce the skill of one-to-one correspondence. Encourage your child to repeat the numbers or say them with you as she drops the items into the containers.

Activity 2: Cooking With Containers

  • Choose a recipe to prepare with your child or use the one provided here: buttermilk biscuits. When choosing a recipe, consider one that includes a variety of measuring tools and containers.
  • Talk with your child about the containers you use when following the recipe.
  • Point out how some containers are small and some are big. Talk about how you use them: “This is a small measuring cup. We use this cup because we only need to add a little bit of sugar.”

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter or shortening
¾ cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425° F. In a large bowl, combine the first five (dry) ingredients with a spoon. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add buttermilk. If the dough is too stiff, add more buttermilk. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut dough with a biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on baking sheet. Bake 12–14 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Activity 3: Containers Are Different Colors

  • Show your child a few containers that are different colors, including one clear container. Talk with your child about the color of each container.
  • Hold up the clear container and drop a few items in it. Say, “This container is clear so you can see what is inside.”
  • Drop a few items in a colored container. Ask, “Can you see what is in this container?”
  • Invite your child to fill and look through the clear and colored containers.

Talk About Colors
Families often wonder how they can help their children learn to identify colors. Young children often learn best when concepts are woven into their play and practical life activities in meaningful ways. As you do things with your child throughout the day, use color words to describe items to your child: “Let’s put on your blue socks,” or “I am going to put the small, green block on top of the tower.” Over time, children will pick up the names of the colors and begin matching and categorizing items based on color.

Activity 4: Color Sort

  • Show your child a variety of containers in many colors.
  • Sort the containers together using simple directions to prompt your child to match the containers’ colors: “Let’s put all of the blue containers together. Can you find a blue container?” or “I am looking for all of the yellow containers.”
  • Once you have sorted all of the containers, you can build on the activity by counting how many are in each group, reviewing the color of containers in each group, or sorting the containers in a new way, such as by size.

Let’s Make a Match
Two-year-old children are just beginning to understand how to sort or organize items based on how they look. At this age, children can often match two similar items—for example, looking at a blue container and finding another blue container. In this activity, you are encouraging your child to focus on looking for one color among the containers at a time.

Activity 5: Containers Are Different Shapes

  • Show your child a few containers or lids that are different shapes, such as a circle, square, and rectangle.
  • Name the shapes with your child and then invite them to play a game with you to find a shape you name.
  • Sing the following to “Did You Ever See a Lassie?”

I see a [circle], a [circle], a [circle]. I see a [circle], how about you?

  • After you and your child find the shape, repeat the song with a different shape.


Thank you for taking part in our Studies at Home for Twos! I can’t wait to see what you and your child discover about how containers are the same and different this week. Share your discoveries with us in the comments below or via social media using the #studiesathome—don’t forget to tag us!

Check back next Monday for our last investigation question: How do people use containers? and to celebrate what you and your child have discovered about containers!


For nearly two decades, The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers & Twos has supported teachers and caregivers as they create responsive daily routines and meaningful learning experiences for the youngest learners. Now, with Expanded Daily Resources for Twos, teachers can nurture children’s innate curiosity and interests by promoting engaging hands-on investigative learning.

Learn More