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This week in Maths, we are looking at sorting and ordering things in different ways.

Below are some games and activities you can do at home to encourage your child to begin to categorise and order.


Sorting by Colour


Write different colour names on a piece of paper and ask your child to sort things that you find around the house into the different colours. You might want to start off with one colour on a Monday and add a colour a day, talking about the new colour as you add it. Go through the different colours you see in the home and in your garden or on walks to encourage them to learn the colours. 

You could even bring them back home to add to your colour page. By the end of the week, see if your child can identify the different colours and sort the items into the correct piles. You can choose the colours and work on the ones your child isn't confident with.

Each day, mix up the items you have gathered and see if they can sort them again.



Sorting and ordering by size


Gather different items and sort them into 'larger than something' and 'smaller than something'. The 'something' can be an item of your choice, for example an apple. Items larger than an apple and smaller than an apple. See if they can sort them and even find more items to add to the piles. (See the picture below.)


When they are confident with this, see if they can order the items you pick (not all of them) from smallest to largest and then largest to smallest. Talk about each item and use the language smaller and larger than. 

Ordering by Capacity


Get some small cups or plastic beakers and ask your child to pour different amounts of water into each one. This will help them with their hand-eye co-ordination and muscle control before you have even started. It may be wise to do this on a tray to avoid too much mess with spillage! 


Afterwards, talk about the amounts of water in each cup. Talk about which have more or less in and see if they can order them by size. After they have done this, talk about the order and get them to explain how they knew where to put each one. Can they explain their thinking process? 


Challenge Time!

Next, give them another beaker of water and ask them where it should fit into the line and ask them why.


Use this activity to teach your child the language used in capacity and encourage them to explain their thinking to you. Ask questions and also give them thinking time to process what you are asking of them.