Sorting activities are great for toddlers. Today we worked on the concepts of big and little.
big and little colored pom pom balls, three bowls, paper, marker.
1. Label two of the bowls so they say big and little. Put all the pom pom balls in a big bowl in the middle.
2. Model for your child how to put the little pom poms in the bowl labeled "little" and the big ones in the bowl labeled "big."
3. Once you'd modeled the activity a few times, work together with your child to help them do this activity.
4. After they've done it with you for a little while, then let them try on their own. This way they'll feel confident.
If they're not understanding the concept once they try and do it by themselves, don't get discouraged... try to do it together some more or just let them do it their own way. They might want to try and sort the balls by color or different attributes than what you planned. If my son got distracted and a little ball wound up in the big ball bowl, I'd make up a silly story about how the little ball escaped and we needed to get it back with its other little ball friends. Making corrections in a fun way won't turn your child off from a sorting activity.
We discovered that a great way to end this activity is with a pom pom ball fight. Dumping these balls all over or throwing them at each other was a lot of fun! Once we were done, we stuck all the balls in a ziploc bag to bring out when we have free time during the day.
During this activity we focused on the concepts big and little. We also talked about the colors. I mentioned them throughout the activity and my son would bring up the colors when he'd pick up a ball to put it in a bowl. I worked on trying to expand his language while we did this activity. If he said "orange," I would say "you have the big orange ball." Then he started saying "big ball" or "orange ball" so I would expand his phrases a little further. With older kids you could sort the balls by big, medium, and little. You could also sort the balls by color and you could count them. In the future we may add some other types of balls or other objects into the mix. We may try this heart match sorting activity next.
We got our activity idea for today from NoTimeForFlashcards. We'll probably do some sorting with marshmallows soon as well!