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Preschool Math: All Sorts of Sorting! (page 2)

Preschool Math: All Sorts of Sorting!

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Updated on Jun 23, 2009

All Sorts of Food

Snack time and meal time are excellent times to sneak in some learning! Try a few of these simple activities and playing with your food will become a catalyst for learning about sorting.

  • Anything that has more than two colors can be sorted. Have your child sort cereal, fruit snacks, small crackers or candy. Sorting by color is the perfect beginning sorting activity for preschoolers.
  • After your child has mastered sorting by one attribute, have her try sorting by two different attributes. For example, she can sort the trail mix first by the different kinds of foods included (nuts, fruit, candy) and take it a step further by sorting the nuts into cashews, almonds and peanuts or the candy into red, brown, and yellow. Use an egg carton or muffin tin as a perfect sorting tray!
  • Gather up the play food or get some real food from the kitchen (after a grocery trip might be a good time for this). Food can be sorted in many different ways, healthy and not so healthy foods, foods we eat with our fingers and foods we eat with silverware, even "foods I like" and "foods I don’t like"! Your child will be able to help you come up with many options for sorting once she gets the hang of it.

All Sorts of Fun

Young children learn best through play. Take notice of the toys around you during your next play session with your child and sorting will become a natural extension of her play.

  • While playing with the cars, notice similarities in several cars. Lay out a few pieces of colored paper and ask your child to drive the cars onto the “parking lot” paper that matches the car color. Cars can also be sorted by types: trucks, race cars, motorcycles, and emergency vehicles.
  • Sort dolls by hair color, eye color, size, clothing color or type of clothes (dresses, pajamas, pants).
  • Sort blocks or beads by size, shape and color.
  • While playing with a deck of cards, try sorting them by suite, number or color.

Sorting is really all about observing, comparing and contrasting objects. As your child becomes familiar with this early math skill, she will begin to sort objects naturally, setting herself up for all sorts of success in math as she enters school!

More preschool sorting and classifying activities:

Find out more with our Essential Guide to Preschool Math!

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