Help the Dot Monster!

Help the Dot Monster!

Developmental Learning Lab (The University of Waterloo)

Who Can Participate

For 5- to 7-year-olds. This study uses purple and blue dots, so it may be difficult for children with red-green colour blindness.

What Happens

Your child will watch as two sets of dots move behind a box one at a time. Then, they will be shown two new sets of dots, and asked which of the new sets has the same number of purple and blue dots as the box. For every three trials, your child will be updated on their progress to helping the dot monster win the teddy bear, and after all 6 trials are complete, the dot monster will win the teddy bear!

What We're Studying

Children have the ability to mentally represent large amounts of objects in their minds, and compare these representations together. This ability plays an important role in children’s mathematical reasoning abilities and in their everyday life. We are interested in further understanding this ability by studying whether children can also add these estimations together.


15 minutes


Families will receive one entry for a draw to win a $50 gift card for every child who participates in the study and is in the age range specified above. Children must be visible in the consent video in order to be eligible to be entered into the draw. Children can only participate in this study once. The draw will be ran for every 50 participants, and winners will be notified within 2 weeks of participating.

This study is conducted by Stephanie Denison (contact:

Would you like to participate in this study?