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Children are such eager leaners that it makes sense to teach them important skills while they are young. These skills can be used later in life too. Sorting is an important developmental milestone. Sorting is your child’s first introduction into the world of mathematics. A child will only be able to sort correctly when he has a sense of shape, size, colour, etc.
1. Sorting Should Be Introduced At An Early Age
There is no ideal age prescribed to introduce sorting activities, however the earlier it is started the better. Generally, it can be introduced to your child at the age of 6 months. At this stage, the sorting activity can be as simple as placing 2 apples and 2 oranges in front of your baby. Firstly, just observe the reaction of your baby. Through his natural instinctive aptitude for sorting, your child will start observing it very carefully. Then you can ask him to hand the apple over to you or place the apple on a piece of newspaper. It is not important at all to sort out things correctly at this stage, however it is very important to introduce the concept to trigger your child’s brain in that area.
2. Ways To Start Introducing Your Child To Sorting
Firstly, it is important to start sorting in a simplistic manner. You can start sorting with two different objects, then three, then four and so on. It is also important to first demonstrate each type of sorting activity. The moment you are introducing anything that might be difficult for your little one to understand, demonstrate it. Demonstration builds the confidence of the child that it is possible to accomplish the task.
When you introduce the concept, start with big items like fruits or balls of different colours. Later, you can move to other items like beads of different colours, shapes and sizes. This way you can tackle two birds with stone by introducing colours and shapes too. You can also introduce coins, teach your child various denominations of money and then teach them to sort it. However, see the pace your child is comfortable with. Too much activity and learning can put a child off.
3. Add Fun To the Sorting Activity
- By preparing colourful ice cubes with food colouring you can teach your child to sort out. Holding the ice in hand, seeing it melt, identifying a colours and placing them in different glasses can be a fun way for your child to learn.
- Teaching various animal types and categorizing them is an added complexity when your child grows. It’s fun and challenging at the same time.
- Categorisation of blocks is in itself a fun activity through which you can tach you little one more than just sorting.
For very young children, sorting also helps in development of fine motor skills. When the child picks the object and places it in an assigned box, it helps in movement and also contributes to strengthening of fingers and wrist muscles. It also help strengthening the visual capacity as the child needs to identify the right colour, shape and size of the object in order to place it in an appropriate box.