Learning Anywhere, Every Day

Part 8 of 12 - Sorting Stuff

05 July 2017

learning any where everyday part 8 sort stuff

Math can be an easy, basic part of life for your young child-- not a scary subject to learn about later in school. Classifying, or recognizing how things are alike and different, is a basic math concept that you can easily help your preschooler learn in a natural, fun way.

There are so many ways this mathematical can be easily incorporated into daily life. Here are  four suggestions:

  1. Go through that pile of family photographs. Do this with your child and see how it can lead to many interesting classifying activities. How about sorting pictures into girl and boy pictures? Then try more challenging categories, such as Mom’s or Dad’s family members, brothers, and sisters, or where people currently live. Or, try sorting into just two, big groups, such as cousins versus not cousins.
  2. Sort your shopping lists according to the type of item. Organize your list into fresh vegetables, frozen foods, or cleaning supplies. At the store, predict where each item will be located and learn how the store is organized!
  3. Sort through collections. If your child, or you collect rocks, or seashells, or coins, or anything else, think of ways you and your child may sort them. You may sort by size, color, shape, or whatever way you want. Use containers you have around the house-- muffin tins, egg cartons or recycled yogurt cups-- for classifying. Exploring why these items have such great appeal is also a great way to get to share and learn about each other.
  4. Sort through toys. Help your child figure out a way to sort and store toys and art materials. For example, suggest keeping all the stuffed animals in one basket and trucks in another. Or sort a collection of plastic dinosaurs by carnivores versus herbivores. Cleaning up toys is also great time to expand your child’s vocabulary by using and introducing new words.

You will probably discover many other ways to practice this classifying skill with your little math whiz. We’d love to hear about them. Check out our Skilly-do activity, Enchanted Animal Crackers and see how the animals can be classified. For more tips on how your preschooler can help you organize things around the house, check out my blog, Helping at Home. And don’t forget to tell us about how it worked out!

Next up ... More math-y fun in part 9 of our 12 part Learning Anywhere, Every Day series.  And just in case you missed it, here's where our series began.

Image inspiration/credit goes to Wood Geek’s colored map delineating the soils of Willow River State Park area northeast of Hudson, in St. Croix County, Wisconsin