When XGirl joined our family at 2.5 years of age, she was way behind in many areas of her development. One skill she was totally lacking was the ability to sort or match things that were the same. Sorting is important because it is a precursor skill for learning math. So we did a lot of very basic sorting and matching practice when she first came home.
Note that these activities involve the use of small materials that are not safe for children who still put objects in their mouths. Please use good judgement about what is safe for your child and provide appropriate supervision.
Initially, I had to give her objects that were very distinct to sort. Here, she practiced sorting wooden beads and plastic dinosaurs.
Once XGirl was able to sort very distinct objects, I had her sort objects that were a bit more similar. Here she sorted buttons and pom poms, which are both round.
At our house, each person has their own basket for storing shoes. And since XGirl loves shoes, I dumped all our shoes into a big pile and had her sort them into each person’s basket. She thought this was great fun. 🙂
So these are just a few very basic sorting activities we had her work on to develop her sorting skills. The first few times we tried these activities, they were too challenging for her. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before she could do them with ease.
If your child has difficulty with sorting at first, wait a few weeks and then re-introduce the activity. You may be surprised at what a difference just a few short weeks can make in your child’s ability to do these cognitive tasks!
More resources for teaching math
More math activities from Gift of Curiosity:
- Building a 3D rainbow measurement activity
- Advanced sorting with Venn diagrams
- Adding with chain links
- Matching and ordering by size
- Teaching combinations of 10
- Estimating an apple’s circumference
- Introduction to probability
- Math practice with numbered dice
- Put the numbers on the clothesline
- Road numbers