Cold winter days naturally lend themselves to quiet children’s activities, such as Montessori-inspired sorting. We work on sorting objects a few times a week in our homeschool preschool, trying to be in connection with the seasons. For winter, we chose cotton balls, ice and tiny foil snowflakes to sort.
You need the three materials I mentioned above, placed in three bowls,
some tongs and either a muffin tray or an egg container or another container with multiple openings. Give a child one of the bowls, a muffin tray-like container and a pair of tongs and let them sort the objects, one by one. If the child is small, the snowflakes will come in a pile:
Older kids will do a more organized job:
If you have multiple small kids, let them rotate the objects they sort. If you don’t have tongs, use chopsticks or a spoon.
Studies have shown that kids who are used to comparing and contrasting do better in mathematics later on. Children naturally strive to make sense of their world, to organize it into categories. By doing sorting activities, children understand how things could be alike, but different. children learn how things could belong and be organized into groups. Getting practice with sorting at an early age is important for numerical concepts and grouping numbers and sets when they’re older.