Home Page


Using comparatives: ‘bigger’, ‘longer’ and ‘smaller’

Why is this important?
Comparatives relate to the ‘er’ on the end of an adjective and are the
grammatical form used to express that there is ‘more’ of something (e.g.
‘more big’ or ‘more small’ – although this is not how it is expressed in
English). This signals further development of abstract concepts – those
where a judgement has to be made.

What to do
• Gather together some items/toys that vary in size

(e.g. two sizes of teddy, cups, pencils, books, cars).
• Put out two of the objects (e.g. two sizes of car).
• Point to the ‘smaller’ of the two objects first and then point to the ‘bigger’ one
saying ‘This car is big and this car is …’
• Encourage the child to use the comparative ‘bigger’.
• If the child says ‘more big’, explain that there is a special way of saying ‘more big’, e.g.
★ Adult: ‘This teddy is big and this teddy is … .’
★ Child: ‘More big.’
★ Adult: ‘Yes, more big, this teddy is bigger. Now you try. This teddy is … .’
★ Child: ‘Bigger.’

Here is a list of objects you could use for this activity. Ask the children what is happening to these objects.


  • Blow up a balloon
  • Build a Lego Tower
  • Russian Dolls
  • Stretchy Toy
  • Elastic Bands
  • Slinky
  • Rainbow Stacker
  • Stacking Cups