see how the water beads on this chicken feather when we put oil on it?
here B is counting out the members of ping's family and comparing it to her own.
(on a side note, it made me so sad to consider that the "one child policy" of modern day china has effectively wiped out all of these aspects to the family: no more "two sisters and three brothers, and eleven aunts and seven uncles and forty-two cousins" )
we played with this chinese abacus, but i must confess, we didn't exactly figure it out, even with the booklet: the fundamental operations in bead arithmetic. none the less, we had fun clacking the beads back and forth. :o)