Welcome MomStart’s newest contributor, Ashley.
I’ve officially been a stay at home mom for almost 9 months and I have to say that I feel so lucky to have the chance to do this. I know there are other moms out there who would love the chance to stay at home and take care of their little ones, but can’t for a wide variety of reasons. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t days when I really miss what I like to refer to as “my past life.” Before my current career, I was a teacher. I worked primarily with kindergarten, but spent a lot of time working with students through 8th grade. My little guy is only 9 months old, so I haven’t really been able to get my “teacher fix” through him… YET! We’ve had a variation of centers at home, and there are enough children’s books to begin a small classroom library. Anyway, I’ve really been going through withdrawal lately searching for some outlet for all of the great ideas that I used to be able to implement in the classroom. I’m hoping that you will get some benefit out of this. I might be out of the classroom, but I’m hoping I can bring a little bit of the classroom to you. I’m hoping to bring you small, easy and simple ways to help your little learners.
Sorting: A Skill for Preschoolers, Kindergarteners, and Beyond
Did you know that most states require that kindergarteners be able to sort shapes objects according to a rule? It is a common standard that kindergarteners are expected to meet. This may sound simple, but for some kids it can be kind of tricky. You might have a kindergartener struggling with this skill, or have a preschooler ready to tackle it head on. Either way, here are some helpful ideas on how to help your child become a stronger sorter.
At home, there are tons of items for your little one to sort. ANYTHING can work: coins, buttons, blocks, bowls, or even the toys that haven’t been put away yet. Maybe your kids will even sort their trail mix at snack time! Do you have a junk drawer that needs some work? Stick some little hands on it with a mission. Sort that stuff! Since I think most people probably have some type of Legos hanging around their house, we’ll go with that. Just know you really could use anything.
Begin by working with your little sorter to sort the blocks by a simple characteristic, like color. Put all the yellow ones in one pile, red in another, and blue in another. Let your child keep it going. Then ask if your child can sort the blocks in another way (maybe by size). If this is easy for your child, ask them to create their own sorting rule. You can also play a game called “How Did I Sort?” In this “game”, someone would sort the blocks (or coins, or noodles, or buttons) in a certain way (maybe by size?), and then someone else would try to guess the sorting rule. It sounds pretty simple, but it can keep a little one busy doing something non-destructive… and isn’t that usually the goal?
You really don’t need any special supplies to play “How Did I Sort?” but if you feel the need to get more stuff in your home I’ve given some links for products that schools often use to practice sorting. The first are called attribute blocks. The second link is to a giant bucket of buttons. These can be pretty fun for sorting because you can even get really tricky and start sorting by the number of holes in the button! I know… you can tell I taught kindergarten. I’m excited about buttonholes!
Well, happy sorting! I hope that you think this is fun… and an easy educational way to entertain your little one!
Ashley has a background in teaching Kindergarten and working with children K through 8th grade. She is now a SAHM and a very active member of our local MOMS Club chapter. She writes her own blog at Momicles – The Chronicles of Mommyia.