PREFACE: So, as I’m going through some archives for pictures for these posts I am having some major sentimental moments looking at this sweet little face of my oldest when he was so little. I really hope somebody gets some use out of these ideas so my watery eyes won’t be in vain! Haha! These sorting & estimation activities should help keep your little ones occupied!
Sorting & Estimation
The great thing about sorting is that you can do it with pretty much anything you have around the house. When I am looking to cut the boredom with the little humans in the house, I usually try to find items that they don’t typically play with, or that they haven’t played with in a while. That helps keep it more fun for them like a game.
What you need:
- Items to sort by color, size, shape, etc. (cars, poms, marbles, buttons, etc.)
- Container or surface (I like using clear Tupperware so the kids can see the items they sort, or muffin pans are great too)
- Paper and pencil or crayon
For ages 1-3 (ish) a good sorting activity is by color. Ex: Put different colored Pom Poms in a container. Ask your child to pull out all the purple Poms, then yellow Poms, etc.
Then try again by size. Pull out all the big Poms, pull out all the small Poms, etc. End by letting them toss them out of the container or in the air & then your pick up game can be sorting back into the container.
For ages 2-4 (ish) a way to amp up the sorting game is to add the pencil/crayon and paper to the mix and have them guess (estimation) how many items are in the bucket. Or, count how many green cars they sorted, then red cars, etc.
Below we guessed (estimated) how many buttons we had in the bucket. Henson counted each button as he pulled it out and arranged them on the table. He was so excited to find out how close he got!
He counted them out and then wrote the number on his paper. A great way to practice writing numbers!
After counting out each category of items I would have him close his eyes while I put the items back in the container, this time a different amount for him to guess. For us, this also served as a good quiet activity while little brother napped.
These kinds of activities are super simple to come up with and to do on the spur of the moment. That’s why I love them! Plus, they learn some great math skills without even realizing it!
Have a great indoor activity (sanity-saver) for toddlers/preschoolers? Share!
Originally posted January 23, 2015