Monday, February 27, 2012

Sorting Station

Last week we received our package from Discount School Supply. We had an item missing so I called up customer service and they were awesome. They apologized and sent out a replacement right away. The package was here in two days! It came in on Friday but we were camping at the beach all weekend so we didn't get to open it until Sunday. The item was an assortment of buttons. K was so excited and immediately ripped them open and began scoping them out. I told her if she spread them out it would be easier for her to see them all. She she grabbed a cookie sheet on her own and poured all he buttons on it. She started looking through them all and decided to pick out certain buttons and put them into her "cool" pile haha.

Her sorting gave me an idea for an activitiy for her. Right before she went to bed I set up a sorting station for her.

She didn't know before hand what I was setting up, but I asked her where she wanted to do an activity at and she chose her light table. We have tile in her playroom so I bought a small rug for under $2 for her to sit/kneel on when playing at the table. Her poor knees were so red every time she would be done playing.
In the station I included buttons, translucent shape tiles, and dyed pasta wheels. I also set out 6 clear cups. When she came in I told her I set up a sorting station and she can use any/all of the materials to sort into any category she wanted. Since she is 5 I am very vague with suggestions, I like to watch her explore and create on her own. If she was a toddler or preschool age, I would have categorized the sorting cups into colors and then have the child sort all of the items by color. This way they are still working and playing on their own but with a little guidence/direction from me.
Right away she asked me to turn on the light table. I LOVE her light table so I was very excited that she asked me to do so.

She starting exploring the items and thought about how she was going to sort everything. She immediately went for the dyed pasta wheels. She started to add a few of them to the clear cup by color.
She was putting them in one by one and counting them at the same time. To my surprise she started doing subtraction with them all on her own!!
In this picture she was saying "I have 6 in the cup, if I take out 1, then that leave 5!" This little girl loves math so far and has been really good at it. This continued on for a while, subtracting and adding pasta wheels.
By the way, she is in a dance leotard. In an earlier post I talked about how much she LOVES dress up. Here is another example of her always wanting to wear dress up clothes no matter what she is doing!

She eventually sorted all the pasta wheels by color then evenly distributed the translucent shape tiles into the cups. Then she decided that was too orderly and she mixed everything together into mass chaos haha. I was too busy catching flying pasta wheels to take a picture. I guess we all deserve to let lose every now and then and create chaos!! Shortly after she was tired and asked to lay down, but she did ask to do a sorting game again after school the next day. I would say that activity was a success! I love that sorting can be so versatile. It can be real structured and you can have your child sort by color, numbers, shapes, texture and more. Or you can be very vague and let the child explore and sort however they see fit. This activity helps develop both cognitive and fine motor skills.

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