We haven’t done sorting activities in a while, so I started setting up an activity for both of them (3yrs and 17 mo), but Buddy Boy came over and started playing before I could finish setting up. So, missing from this activity are tweezers, other bowls (plain, not colored), and chopsticks. And, I might start throwing in some patterning cards to see what Sweet Pea does.
Obviously, Buddy Boy isn’t quite to the sorting by color stage yet. He’s had almost no interest every time we’ve tried. Sweet Pea was sorting by color by his age, and he’s no where near me saying, “Buddy Boy can correctly sort by color and will give you the correct color when asked for it.” Is he behind? NO! Not at all. He’s just not there yet. Every child is different. And that’s ok. He’ll get there. When he’s ready. My guess is that he’ll get his colors down in the next few months because he’s starting to show more of an interest.
And, we need to keep in mind that Sweet Pea was an only child still at his age, so she got more focused attention for those kinds of activities. Plus, she’s a different kid with different interests. Buddy Boy is light years ahead of her in other areas, partly because he has his sister to watch and partly because he’s a different kid with different interests.
So, am I concerned about Buddy Boy not knowing his colors at 17 months or not being able to sort? Absolutely not. Each child is different, and we can’t compare them to each other (siblings, friends, cousins, the kid at story time, etc). If we want to check progress and if they’re learning, we should look at where our child was and where they are now. Compare them to themselves, not each other. “Childhood is a journey, not a race,” right? Let’s keep that in mind and let them be little and learn and progress at their own pace!
Sorting is a great activity that helps kids make sense of the world around them. It helps them notice how things are alike and how they’re different (similarities and differences, comparing and contrasting). Sorting is great for helping with math. It helps with visual scanning (pre-reading skill) while children are looking for matches. It’s an open-ended activity that can lend itself to practicing other important skills, like counting and categorizing.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to make sure your child is progressing and how to set up goals or check progress at home, let me know!