Kindergarten Readiness – Learning/Thinking Strategies #18

categorizing-childrenReady to cook up some kindergarten readiness? Whether he knew it or not, this young boy was showing another critical learning and thinking strategy. It’s hard to see in the photo but as he was cooking in the play kitchen he was also sorting the small toys. The cars and trucks are in the little sauce pan and the airplanes are on the table near his hands. He was grouping the things that go together into categories.

To decide if something is an airplane or a car/truck, or any other category, a child needs to have lots of brain connections already. For example, this young boy has to know a great number of details: cars and trucks have doors, windows and wheels, airplanes have doors, windows and wheels too but they have wings which make them different. These toys are not all the same color but he has decided that color isn’t as important as wings. It ‘s also helpful to have a good language base with lots of vocabulary but even before babies can talk their brains notice what is new and different.

Using categories is particularly valuable because it helps the brain deal with large volumes of information. You can help your child develop this thinking and learning skill by sorting laundry into groups, putting groceries away where they belong according to their category or clothes into their drawers. Have your child “fix” the problem if you put a book in the bed instead of on the shelf, or a sock in the toybox. I wish I had fewer items in the “Things I can’t do on the computer” category and more in the “Things I can do” part. Does your day have a sorting fun activity for kindergarten readiness?

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