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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sorting [Fine-Motor Skills Play, Ep. 2]

Now that you have collected a bunch of items to create activities for your child(ren),
let's get started by talking about sorting!

White divided tray $1 at Goodwill. Craft supplies from
$1 store. Clear divided tray with lid $0.50 at Goodwill.
[Pictured here is sorting pom-poms by number and color.]
"Why is sorting such an important skill to give to preschoolers? If you think about it, a child will go on to sort things for the rest of their life. We are always sorting, clothes, toys, papers, and the list goes on and on. Sorting is a fundamental activity in life for all. To help preschoolers learn sorting is to give them a life skill. Preschoolers can sort by shape, size, color, texture, and category."

1) Gather up items that can be divided by the above suggestions-- shape, size, color, texture and category. Some examples are: buttons, paperclips, erasers, stickers, toy cars, balls, pom-poms, magnetic letters, dried pasta/beans/rice/etc, jelly beans, cereal, cut-out shapes from card stock, LEGOS.

2) Give your child a container to sort them in. Depending on the size of the items you could use anything from an egg carton to an muffin tin to bowls to trays to laundry baskets. If you have purchased items specifically for preschool activities you can alter them to serve different purposes. Buy some ice cube trays and paint each "cube" a different color. Then have your child sort their items according to colors. Write numbers inside the sections and have your child fill each one with the appropriate number. When sorting textures, glue a piece of the fabric inside the compartment they are to match it up with. If sorting letters, draw the letter... you get the idea.

3) If you are sorting large items like clothing or shoes or toys, use painter's tape and lay out a grid on the floor to make sections for the child to gather each item.

4) Go one step further and get a set of tweezers and tongs for your child to pick up each item with as he/she sorts them into categories!

Some items you can RECYCLE for sorting activities:
  • save your bottle caps (they can be painted or glued to magnets or add stickers)
  • broken crayons (use as is--just remove the paper, or you can melt them down and reshape them)
  • muffin tins/cookie sheets
  • plastic cartons and containers
  • Popsicle sticks
  • color swatches from choosing paint colors
  • fabric scraps
  • leftover yarn
  • lonely socks that are missing their pairs
  • doubles of your printed photos (sort family members' faces)
  • magazines (cut out animals, cars, other favorite things)
  • baby food jars (for storing smaller items)
  • plastic utensils and utensil tray
  • clothespins
Don't be overwhelmed!!!

If you don't have time or money or motivation to put together activities... at least remember that

"There are probably many activities you do with your child that help them with sorting skills. If you’re looking for other activities to do at home with your preschooler, here are a few: let them help put dishes away, we do silverware best, help clean up their toys, let them help put groceries away. Laundry sorting has many possibilities. First when it is dirty, let them help sort it into different piles by color, then when it is done sort it by types—shirts, pants, socks, towels, etc.; or sort it by person—mom, dad, brother, sister, etc., lots of sorting skills here."

Quotes from Preschool Playbook

My son can use this tray to sort by color and/or number.

Sorting pom-poms by color.

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