Matching and grouping

Matching and grouping
If your child knows his numbers and their order (counting to 10, forwards and backwards), shapes (square, triangle, etc.) and colours before starting kindergarten, he’ll have an easier time in school.

Sorting, ordering and grouping: whether toys or as part of household chores, are all mathematical skills you use daily. You can, for example, ask your child to help you sort socks into pairs or, when it’s time to put away toys, suggest that he put all the blocks in one box and the toy cars in another, etc. Puzzles are also very useful for developing a child’s sense of observation, learning to associate shapes and introducing geometric notions.

A few ideas…

“Émy often helps me sort clothes when they come out of the drier. We separate the socks, underwear and shirts and put them away in the drawers, where we sort them a second time! In the garden, we have fun arranging stones by colour or size.”
- Martine Desautels, Boisbriand

“Children enjoy sorting coins and learning to recognize the different ones—under parents’ supervision. You can also play a fun game by spreading out 3 different kitchen accessories, 3 items of clothing and 3 toys on the table and inviting your child to group them together by category. For example, he’ll have to group the glass, the pot and the plate together, and explain why they belong together. That will exercise his logic and pre-classification skills at the same time, while he plays!”
- Louise Doyon, teacher and author

If your child knows his numbers and their order (counting to 10, forwards and backwards), shapes (square, triangle, etc.) and colours before starting kindergarten, he’ll have an easier time in school.

Measuring

Everything around you can be measured! In the beginning, children measure things in relation to their bodies: “How many times can you place your hands from one side of the book to the other?” Show your child how to place his second hand next to the first without overlapping. When you cook together, there’s also a lot of opportunity to measure things. You can ask your child to fill a measuring cup with flour to a certain line, then water to another line.

A few ideas…

“Place a growth chart on the wall to measure your child’s height regularly: it’s a great introduction to measurement!”

“Your child can also learn the most common metric measurements using his body. For example, you can tell him: The width of your thumb measures 1 centimetre. Do you know any other objects or animals that measure 1 centimetre? And when you spread your arms, the distance between your 2 hands is 1 metre. Can you name other objects or animals that measure 1 metre, too? And so on.”
- Louise Doyon

Remember

  • Mathematical awareness starts early.
  • Putting things in order, comparing, categorizing, grouping, stacking, making logical links: all these skills prepare your child to properly understand the world around him.
  • Foster your child’s natural curiosity for math by integrating numbers in your games and routines.
  • Always respect your child’s pace to make sure your child doesn’t get discouraged.