As a mom (and teacher), I strive everyday to engage, nurture, and expand the mind of my little one.
Here you will find the books, music, and activities most useful to me in my endeavors.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teachable Moments: Sorting

I stumbled upon this article, and it got me thinking about the SORTING I do with my toddler. When I "get thinking," I usually make a list, and since I had this pretty list all typed up, I thought I'd share it with you ... it's not rocket-science, it's just what we do ...
  • In the play kitchen - fruits / veggies
  • In the kitchen - mix of cereals or pastas, plastic lids by shape / size
  • From the "cuddling" bin - fur / no fur, size, color
  • Cups, Blocks, Pegs, Rings - color, size
  • Deck of Cards (not all 52) - red / black, Diamonds / Hearts / Spades / Clubs, numbers
  • UNO Cards - colors, numbers
  • Photographs - old / young, boy / girl, family members, friends
  • Crayons - colors, length
  • Laundry - socks, shirts / pants
  • Outside - sticks / pine cones / leaves

Of course, there are also toys on the market known as shape sorters; the ones that I am thinking of are geared toward fitting a shape in the same shape/sized-opening. We have two different versions at my house. This a great way to introduce basic shapes, increase fine motor skills, and work on matching. However, I think the toddler brain - at some point - is ready for sorting by attribute as well.

I also love to use what I have around the house to make learning happen. The other day, I pulled out my cupcake tin and some foam shapes (left-over from a Mother's Day PD craft). I put one of each color foam flower in each opening and started handing flowers to my toddler. I just asked her, "Could you put this flower with one the same color?" It was great fun, and I see serious sorting potential with the cupcake tin.

All of this has me thinking about "open-ended" sorting. Typically, I choose objects because I know how they could (logically) be sorted, but I don't often/ever give my toddler the chance to come up with her own sort. Perhaps I should put aside my inner control freak and give this a try soon ... just to see more possibilities for SORTING.

What SORTING Tips do you have to share? Feel free to comment and let me/us know :)


Miss Mel said...

Hey Dana,
The other day I had Tuck (our almost 4 year old) sort the plastic wear into 3 cups. I glued a fork, knife, spoon on the front of the cups and then spilled out the HUGE bag of mismatched plastic wear. It is my pride and joy of years of collecting:)
Once he sorted them all, I had him poor out each cup individually and count. Luckily he can count up to 40.
We also sort each night our toys into each of our bins to clean up (guys, cars, puzzles, games, babies and accessories, more cars, and kitchen stuff) We play hard!
One of our favorite things is to take out our bucket of 467 cars and sort them by construction vehicles, race cars, emergency vehicles and cars with eyes (Disney Pixar Cars).
PHEW, that was more than I thought I would write. Enjoy :)
P.S. Glad you found Deb from Spawnocalypse...She is a dear, super talented friend, we ran together in college!

Chi-town momma said...

Benjamin loves to help me match up the socks too! I love that he is starting to help me with the laundry. A good skill for any man to have!

Lisa Lee said...

My sister Teri says the sorting concept works great for having Dominic help clean up his play room which by the way is kids heaven, it's their entire basement and seriously is a mini Toys R'Us. Anyway, Teri has bins or rubbermaids or whatever containers she can get her hands one and has specific types of trucks, cars or toys in them (seriously she has a bin for toy emergency vehicles!) So when it's clean up time, Teri will ask Dominic where the motorcycles go and then when he shows her, she'll make it a game to get all the motorcycles and put them in their special place...and then so on, from the working trucks to the cars to the planes, etc., etc., She says sorting has been a good friend to her!