Friday, October 7, 2011

Fruit Baskets

An important skill to teach your child is sorting. It helps them to develop logic, to categorise items, to rationalise, to identify common characteristics in items and more. There are so many ways to introduce your kids to the concept of sorting!
One idea I had when Eden was about 18 months old, was to cut out the shapes of two baskets from brown paper, and then cut out shapes of bananas from yellow paper, and apples from red paper. I stuck the 'baskets' into facing pages of a scrapbook, mixed the apples and bananas up in a container and glued one apple to one basket and one banana to the other. I sat with her to help her glue - a skill she hadn't quite mastered at that age, - and she very quickly had pasted all the red apples into a basket and piled the bananas onto the other (but she didn't want to glue those "nope, is icky Mummy", go figure).
Other sorting activities we've done include:
  • a tub of pegs and a platter with four compartments: she sorted them by colour
  • our clean socks off the washing line: she sorts them into Daddy's, Mummy's, hers and Ava's
  • canned food in the pantry: I have no idea what rationale she has here, but she often rearranges them into an order which obviously makes sense to her
  • disposable nappies: she piles them into her pull-ups and Ava's nappies
  • random papers, catalogues, flyers, etc: she sifts through them and stacks them into an order that I can't figure out, but gets upset if I change it!
  • junk box: I keep a large nappy box full of yoghurt tubs, food boxes, caps from drinks, and other recyclables that we often use in our crafts/playtime, and she likes to sort that out into categories. Sometimes, I ask her to put the boxes in order of height.
There are so many ways you can incorporate sorting into your daily activities, and it's amazing to see your child's mind at work, figuring out a logical way to group things. I am constantly awed by how complex Eden's mind is ("these shoes are for the princess, these shoes are for Dirt Girl..."). If you present your munchkin with the opportunity, I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well they grasp the concept of sorting. And maybe you can set them loose on that cupboard you've been meaning to tackle...

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