Greater Than Alligators

May 2, 2015

Activity for ages 5 to 8.

These crafty alligators are a memorable, hands-on way to teach kids how to compare two numbers and identify the bigger one. As the DIY clothespin alligators munch the largest number in the pair, kids learn a helpful trick for figuring out which one is greater than the other.

Memorable greater than alligators

Getting Ready

To prep, I grabbed a bag of clothespins I’d picked up at the dollar store, our watercolor paints, some googly eyes and my hot glue gun. I painted each of the clothespins green and let them dry for about an hour. Then I hot glued a pair of googly eyes on every tip to make the clothespins really transform into mini alligators.

Adorable greater than clothespin alligatorsNext, I grabbed a pack of blank index cards and wrote a pair of reverse image numbers on each one. 72 and 27, 35 and 53, 91 and 19…

Alligator greater than clip cardsI drew a dot beneath each number so Big Brother would be able to easily see where the hungry alligators should be clipped.

Teaching Greater Than

With all of my supplies ready, I invited Big Brother to join me. I showed him the mini alligators and explained that they were VERY hungry. So hungry that they wanted to fill their bellies with as many fish as possible stat.

I showed him the first card and asked whether our first alligator would rather eat 9 fish or 90 fish. “Ninety!” he said and eagerly began opening the alligator’s jaw to munch the number.

Greater than alligators

One card after the next, he quickly built his confidence and was soon identifying numbers that were greater than in a jiffy.

Clever greater than alligator clothespins

Than I grabbed a marker and showed him how the greater than symbol is just a simple drawing of an alligator mouth. The hungry alligator always eats the bigger pile of fish.

Teaching kids greater than

He was eager to munch numbers and happily started drawing the greater than symbols on all of the cards.

Our alligator clothespins were a fun, memorable way to teach greater than.

Find More

For more fun with numbers, grab our free hundred chart and check out 10 fun ways to use it and be sure to download our free I Have, Who Has Place Value Game.


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Hi, I’m Malia.

I love giving Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers easy-to-follow systems for getting EVERY student bigger results.

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