How many?

In 2010 when the national census was being conducted I talked to my grandchildren who live 20 minutes away about it when I was at their house.  We had been working on numbers in Grandma School so I thought this might be a teaching moment.

I explained that U.S. Census Bureau wanted to count everyone who lived in the United States.  Their eyes got very big.  Everyone?  Every town?  What about Australia?  This is when the Wiggles were still a real favorite of my grandson.  I told him that the people in Australia would not be included in the census.

How can they count everyone, Grandma?  I explained that a paper was being mailed to every house and apartment to ask how many people lived there. 

What about pets, Grandma?  No, no pets were included.

They then said that the answer for their house was 4.  And the answer for my house would be one since my cats couldn’t be included.

I suggested that we could do a census of “things” in their house.  I asked what they would like to count.  My granddaughter collects stuffed giraffes.  She that they should be counted for their household  census.  Well, of course, my grandson wanted to count his Thomas the Tank Engines.

We came up with a list of items to count:  giraffes, American Girl dolls, Thomas the Tank engines, and teddy bears.  There was a pause so I got us on to a different track – windows.  Then we came up with a list of household items to count:  beds, fans, rooms, bathrooms, TVs, chairs.  There was some discussion as to whether a sofa could be chair.  And should a sofa count as more than one chair since more than one person can sit on it?  Simple tasks can become involved, but that did show that the children had their thinking caps on.

Then off they ran around the house counting and bringing me back totals.  There were a couple of disputes about totals so we all together counted those items.  Must have an accurate household census, right? 

Whew!  When we were finished, we sat down to look at the list and the totals.  We needed a snack after all that running around.

When their mommy came home at the end of the day, she was met with, “Mom, do you know how many windows are in the house?” 

Thanks for stopping by to visit Grandma in the Mailbox.  I am making candy corn cookies for my grandchildren since Halloween is approaching.  Please stop back to see how I made them and to get the recipe.

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