Monday, May 21, 2012

Sorting Animals

Catagorizing and sorting are two skills that every kids needs to learn.  These are science/math skills that we really do use into adulthood.  And it's really easy to incorporate into play.

The other day, my daughter and I were playing with all the Little People stuff that we have in our basement and she held up one of birds (I think a nightingale) and asked me if all birds lived in nests.  I told her that I was unsure, but we could check on the computer.  "Not right now mommy, I want to finish with my animals."  I asked her what she was going to do.  "I don't know."  I kind of changed the subject and asked her what her friends names were at school, why they were friends ("Cause we like playing together.") which THEN led me to ask - "Well, which of these animals would be friends do you think?"  And that was when the sorting began.  She had all the animals sorted out by where they lived.  Forest, nests, caves, savannah, trees (Koalas), houses, water and dessert.  She was unsure of the word Savannah, but put all the animals together then asked me where they lived.  Savannah was the closest I could get to what grouping she had made.  I did not help her at all - some things are a little off - but she grasped the concept and ran with it. 

Oh, and as a side note.  I asked her about lions living in caves.  Her response?  "That's where they live on the Lion King movie!"  Gotta love Disney!

There are so many different sorting activities that you can do with your kids!
  • You can start sorting with really young children, sorting by colour or shape.
  • For the older children, choose something that they are interested in.  If they love dinosaurs, sort carnivore, herbivore and omnivore.  If they love superheros, sort the toys that they have by bad and good guys.  Be creative!
  • Try not to interfere.  This was hard for me, I couldn't figure out her thinking.  But instead of CHANGING what they are doing, TALK to them and figure out what they are thinking.  If they can explain it then they are right!

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