Develop Your Kid’s Math Foundations By Sorting Things at Home

Let me start by saying we don’t need special tools to help our kids develop their math skills. We can use all the things around us that are available inside and even outside the house.

I’ve always believed that all the things we need to learn are available around us, we just have to use them for our advantage.

What is sorting skill?

Sorting and patterning skills involves understanding relationships among sets, how those sets are represented, and analyzing of those sets. A child who has good sorting and patterning skills can: understand patterns, relations, and functions.

Why is sorting an important skill?

Unknowingly, as adults, we are actually dealt with many tasks that require sorting. From organizing our house, to lists of things we need to solve in the office, these are all tasks that should have been easy if this skill was developed as a child.

Children are naturally attracted to sorting objects and do not need much direction. Meanwhile, some children may need more assistance to get started and this is where parents are required to assist.

But why do we need to help our child develop sorting skills?

If we take a look at the math books from pre-k to grade one, the focus starts on size of things, patterns, and putting together things that are alike.

When children sort objects they are learning that some of those things are alike and some of those things are different. Once they move onto grouping according to a number of different attributes they learn that a single item can have many features by which it can be sorted.

This process helps improve their logical thinking skills. This skill can then be applied to both mathematical concepts as well as to daily life. Sorting falls under algebra which includes the understanding of patterns and relationships.

According to, a child who has developed strong  sorting skills will find it easier to:

        • Make matches
        • Identify sets
        • Classify items by single attributes
        • Classify items by multiple attributes
        • Recognize and create patterns
        • Understand patterns, relations, and functions
        • Compare sets for differences and similarities
        • Recognize relationships between sets
        • Understand how rules apply to sets

Meanwhile, a child who has not developed robust sorting skills may not only have difficulty later in math but also in:

      • Understanding how to connect new pieces of knowledge with what is already known
      • Making informed judgements
      • Making and enacting decisions
      • Coping with events that are out of routine
      • Dealing with the unexpected.

Do we need special tools to develop sorting skills?

No. Not at all. Look around you and use all the things you can find in the house. Incorporate teaching in daily routines and chores. Examples are:

        • Sorting clothes when folding clothes
        • Cleaning up toys
        • Organizing kitchen cabinets
        • Packing traveling bags or daily bags
        • You can use spoons, forks, straws, etc.

Here’s a simple video of my child sorting toys at home.

Read more articles about Sorting:

Classifying and Sorting – Play Within Early Years › classifying-and-sorti…

Matching & Sorting Skills in Preschool Years – Ira › Learning Corner

8 Simple Sorting Activities for Toddlers – Busy › 2015/12 › 8-simple-sorting-activities

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