Ages: 18 to 24 months
Materials: work mat, 12 objects (6 of each concept–for example, thread, napkin rings, coins, bottle caps), 2 identical baskets (or other container), container to hold the objects
- Prepare the work and get out the mat.
- With the work facing the child and the mat between you, remove the baskets from the tray, place them on the mat, and the container with the objects in front.
- Demonstrate the activity by taking an object from the container and placing it in basket on the left.
- Take an object from the opposite concept, inspect it, compare to the object in the first basket, and then place it in the basket on the right.
- Continue to sort the objects, pausing every so often to compare the objects to show the child that they are different.
- Invite the child to do the work himself.
- When he or she finishes, have them return the work to the shelf.
Extension: As the child continues with this work, you can add up to 6 different concepts (6 items each) to sort. With the more concepts to sort, you may want to forgo the baskets and have the child sort the objects in rows on a work mat.