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Thinking Skills - Sorting


We really enjoy Thinking Skills activities in Nursery.  They encourage the children to think for themselves, give every child a chance to explain their ideas and  reinforce the messages that it is good to have your own ideas and opinions and there can be more than one 'correct' answer.  

Before you can begin to sort, your child must have an understanding of the concepts of same and different.

Same and Different

This is a key concept that a child needs to understanding before they can successfully access so many of the activities we undertake in Nursery. Try to use the vocabulary of same and different as the opportunity arises at home to develop your child's understanding.  

Other concepts that are useful to teach, for example first and last, can be found in the Key Skills Development section of Meithrin.


These PDFs can be viewed on screen so no need to print!

Sorting Activity

If your child can (with help) explain their reason for grouping objects as they have chosen to then they have achieved the objective.  Whilst we as adults might be looking for sets of farm animals and wild animals, your child might choose to group them as 'Animals I like' and 'Animals I don't like'.  The amazing ideas that we always get from these activities is what makes them a favourite with us.


This particular activity has an accompanying mat suggesting that the animals are sorted depending on the number of legs that they have ... please don't print that sheet.  Just use the pictures, or any animal pictures you might find in comics, or a selection of toy animals if you have them.  Ask your child to put them into groups because something about them is the same.  Support your child as much as is needed.  You could sort the pictures first, find all the animals with a particular characteristic and encourage your child to group others and name the set.  


You can practise sorting with lots of objects at home ... sorting Duplo blocks by colour or by shape ... sorting cutlery back into their compartments in the drawer ... sorting everyone's socks back into pairs after washing! 

Name Five Things... 

This game is a good one to remember when you are out walking or have a couple of minutes to fill.  You may have to help your child quite a lot initially, but do persevere.