The game How Many? is such a versatile one because of its seeming simplicity. You can ask this question of just about anything. That simple question has so many hidden depths of possibility though. Take the image above: How many ways can you answer “How Many?”?

The obvious: Six eggs

But…keep going!

Um…One carton

Keep going!

Half a dozen

Two diamond shapes between the eggs

Six triangles at the edges (one hidden by the logo)

Six words

36 characters

Three letter ‘o’s

Hundreds of speckles on the eggs

You get the idea!

This game really stretches your perception of countable items, right? The video from the How-to page demonstrates how this game might go with kids (videos on the How-to page are also now available in Spanish):

Like I said, you can play this game looking at anything around you, but if you want some fun images to challenge your kids’ counting prowess, check out the Idea Gallery and click on the “How Many” button.

Counting for How Many? doesn’t have to be limited to finite numbers. For those pictures that have A LOT of items, this is a great way for kids to practice their estimating skills. Words like about, approximately, a lot, dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions are all acceptable in the answers. Even quantitative phrases like not enough and too many are fair game.

For older kids, try to get them to work in some fractions and negative numbers too.

Special thanks to Christopher Danielson, author of the How Many: A Counting Book who started all this fun!

Melissa Burt

Melissa Burt

Guest Contributor

Melissa is a Graphic Designer & Copywriter at Educational Service District 112 who provides design for Math Anywhere’s printed and online materials. She is also the mother of four young math-curious kiddos.