Sorting and matching objects is an important mathematical skill for young children to develop. It helps children to develop their thinking and awareness of number and quantity. Children organise, match and sort items in different ways, by colour, shape, design, size, and sometimes using their own criteria. They may sort by using simple categories such as colour, size or shape, or by using categories such as, type of transport (cars, trains, boats) or types of animals (farm, zoo, sea). Matching encourages children to look for similarities and differences.
Here are just a few ideas…
Sorting toys You could start by asking your child to gather some of their favourite toys (maybe suggest small toys like Lego or animals) then ask them to sort them using different criteria, shape, colour or size.
You might choose stones or shells of different colours, shapes, sizes and textures.
Loose parts can provide good opportunities to challenge children’s thinking because of variations – Will all the different shades of blue go in one set? How will you decide if an item is ‘big’ or ‘small’? Encourage your child to explain why they have chosen to put an object in a particular set.
Household sorting jobs
- Putting away the shopping – sorting the fruit, vegetables, tins, frozen food into the correct places.
- You could talk to your child about what you are doing as you sort and separate clothes for washing (whites, colours, and darks) or get them to help you sort and match socks.
- At lunchtime or dinner time encourage children to set the table by matching knives and forks or plates with cups, you could talk about the different sizes of spoons you might use. How many will you need?
- Involve them in recycling waste (paper, plastic, cans and food waste).
- Will you read a story (fiction) book together or will you choose non-fiction? Are they all muddled up on the book shelf?
- Putting toys away into the right place!
Putting in order of size
Challenge your child to put a selection of items into size order – coins, sticks, shoes or lego bricks perhaps. This encourages measuring skills as well.
Play Odd One Out
Show your child 3 objects, start simple perhaps 2 red and 1 blue – can they spot the odd one out? As they get the idea, increase the challenge – perhaps a red car, a blue car and a green train.
Let your child have a turn at choosing the items for you to say which is the odd one out.
Mrs Russell wonders who can spot the odd one out in the picture below… remember to say why!
Show us what you have been sorting and matching on Google Classroom or Twitter @Glenwood FC #Glenwoodlearningathome