We sort most things in our environment. Coffee mugs go with coffee mugs. Socks go with socks. Pens and pencils go together because we use them both to write.
Children are born into this world of sorting, and they are no different than adults. They enjoy sorting! They learn early on how to categorize to help them understand their new world, and unbeknownst to them, practice math thinking at the same time.
Early math concepts that children are mastering while sorting include: grouping, applying logic, and comparing and contrasting. Later on in their math studies, children will use these same skills to sort numbers into sets and apply a formula using logical thinking.
Here are some ideas for sorting activities you can do at home with your family with very little preparation:
Sorting Coins: Show your child the process of sorting coins into groups. Have a pile of coins, for example 3 dimes, 3 pennies, 3 quarters, and three containers to sort into.
Sorting Buttons: Choose buttons that are the same size and shape but different colors. That way, your child is only sorting by one “factor” (color) rather than size and color or color and shape.
Sorting Cutlery: Have a pile of forks and spoons of the same shape and size ready on a plate. Your child can sort the forks from the spoons into two separate cups or containers, or put them back in the correct spot in the kitchen drawer!
These sorting activities will help your child build a strong foundation for mathematical thinking. Enjoy the challenge of creating new sorting activities for your child from materials you have in your home!
Lastly, if you’d like some additional math work including learning numbers 0-9, try Intro to Math by Montessorium where your child can enjoy Montessori math activities like Cards ands Counters and the Red Rods.
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