Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sorting and Matching

Sorting coloured sticks into pots might not seem like much but this simple activity is packed full of benefits for your child.

Sorting and matching encourages early mathematical thinking and is great for cognitive development This is a mental process that includes memory, making decisions, problem solving and understanding language. It is the part of our brain that helps us process information and apply knowledge. By placing the sticks and pots in front of the children without or little instructions gives them the opportunity to process whats in front of them by observing and experimenting and apply this knowledge to decide what they can do with it.

My little man tends to fiddle about with the sticks first by filling the cups up and pouring them into another cup which is great to grasp the concept of full and empty and pouring is great for fine motor skills. After a little play I will prompt him by asking him what colour the sticks are which then progresses to him sorting the sticks into the correct colour cup. We also use this activity to practice counting. Most of the time he will attempt to count the sticks himself and I will take this further by putting a couple of sticks in each pot and counting them with him. Older children can practice more or less.

To put more focus on fine motor skills you can give the children spoons, plastic tweezers, or chopsticks to move the sticks or tape some cardboard that has holes poked through or slots cut out to the top of the cups.

Best of all this activity will make your child feel good, the opportunity to figure things out for themselves will make them feel confident and give them a feeling of self achievement. :)

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