Helping children to notice similarities and differences helps them to spot patterns and to use their reasoning skills. Spotting patterns and logical reasoning are key when learning mathematics.
Ask children “What is the same?” “What is different?”
Then ask them to explain what they notice, this improves their language and thinking.
Look at the two sets of buttons. Find things that are the same about the two sets, for example, both sets have different coloured buttons in them. How many similarities can you find?
Now look for differences. Find things that are different about the two sets, for example, there are a different number of buttons in each set. How many differences can you find?
Make your own sets of objects and look for similarities and differences.