Sorting by Size
Thinking: To foster ways in which your child collects and gathers information, and the way in which your child uses it.
This is an activity that will encourage children to sort different objects into groups of small and large.
You will need:
- A variety of objects that are small and large (i.e. cookie cutters, leaves, shoes, toy animals, cars, blocks, felt board pieces)Click the Accessibility bar below for details on materials that can be substituted to make this activity easier for children with a range of abilities.
- Two containers for sorting themClick the Accessibility bar below for details on materials that can be substituted to make this activity easier for children with a range of abilities.
1. Place the containers on the table, arranging the various materials to be sorted around them.
2. Explain to the children that some of the things on the table are big and some are small. Show the children a few examples to demonstrate the difference between small and large. Hold up two objects and ask someone to point to the object that is small, and then to the object that is large.
3. Children can put the things that are small in one container and the things that are larger in the other.
4. You are now ready to begin this activity!
Click Here For Accessibility Tips
Some children are developing the ability to recognize features of objects. These tips will support your child’s ability to separate objects based on a trait.
- Two low trays
- Rubber place mat
- Two of the same object, one small and one large (i.e small blue ball and a big blue ball)
Place the objects in low trays, with a rubber place mat underneath, to keep tray from sliding. This also lets your child see all the objects in the tray
Show your child a small object and a large object that have the same features except for size, for instance a small blue ball and a large blue ball. You could say, "show me the small blue ball".
Guide your child's (i.e pointing ) to one of the balls on the tray
Repeat by showing your child both the small and large ball. ask your child to identify the large one, then guide (i.e. pointing) or ask your child to place it in the other tray.
Nurture, Explore & Share
- if you present objects that focus on one different feature at a time
- Your child will begin to recognize the differences between two objects
Nurture, Explore & Share
- If you use a low tray for sorting small and large objects
- Your child will develop sorting skills based on a single feature
- Spend time with your child by engaging in the activity with them
- Feel pride in their ability when they learn new things about size and have opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge
- Using, manipulating and sorting things
- Feel encouraged to make discoveries about size as they play
- Describing objects by size
- Build their vocabulary as they use words like big, little, small and large.
Enriching Learning Through the Everyday Moments
- Describe familiar things in the environment using words like big, small, large, tiny, little and huge to help children to learn ways to describe size.
- Provide toys and play materials in different sizes (i.e. large and small blocks, nesting containers, big and small dolls) to help children explore size in concrete ways.
- Provide learning materials that encourage children to make comparisons between big and small things (i.e. a large and small shell or pine cone).
- Big and Little by Steve Jenkins, and Big or Little by Kathy Stinson
Everyday Moments: Play Time