Fire up little minds with sorting games

March 13, 2018

Image courtesy of Yarrabah Knowledge Centre

Sorting games are great for babies through to preschoolers and can help your child learn the similarities and differences between objects — an important early literacy skill.

Being able to recognise similarities and differences is also an important foundation skill for children to develop before they begin to learn to read and write. It helps them to understand the meaning of the words similar and different. Understanding what same and different means helps children learn the differences between upper case and lower case letters and start to recognise the same letter as it appears in books or on signs — all well before formal literacy learning starts.

Choose activities that match your child’s development. For younger babies, start with fewer items to sort that are chunky and easy to grasp and add more as your child learns and grows, to make it more challenging.

Ask your child specific questions to help them identify similar and different characteristics. For example: “Show me the round container. Now the one with straight sides. Let’s look for all things that are big or let’s see how many animals we can find in this magazine. Add in lots of conversation and the activity is also an opportunity to learn new words and have some quality bonding time.

You don’t need special toys for this activity, common household objects and pictures are perfect.

Try using pegs, kitchen plastics, laundry, food, the toys you already have, magazine clippings, photos and books.