Today is our last day of problem solving and reasoning!
Today builds on our activity yesterday of classifying and sorting shoes. This time the range of objects is going to be varied - not all one type of something. It may be your child's art resources that you have, their toys, or a random assortment of resources from around your house (buttons, scissors, pencils, screws, sponges, bath toys, cards etc) or even emptying different items out of the kitchen cupboards to . Ideally they are items of different uses, sizes, colours, and textures. You will also need different containers, boxes, cartons, set of drawers or a caddy for them to sort them into.
With these items we would like them to be all jumbled up together...We are sorry to the adults who dislike mess (we promise this activity may help keep things tidy in the right way in the future!). Maybe one of the bad guys tipped it out during a tussle with their superhero vegetable in the night and now they have to sort it out?!
*Ask your child to look at all the different objects in front of them. Where are they from? What are they used for? What do they feel like? Encourage your child to talk through their handling of the objects.
*Next ask your child to think of a way that we can sort and tidy them up into the different containers/boxes/drawers etc. How could they sort them? What drawers would they go in? The focus is for your child to identify ways to classify a wide range of objects independently.
*As they are sorting try asking some of these questions...
Again, the focus of this is to get them to think of a method that works, identifying their own ways of sorting/grouping to a rule that they have devised, and being able to justify their choices reasonably. Just keep asking questions as they go along to extend their thinking. They may get part way through sorting and realise that they have run out of boxes. How could they sort them now without adding any more?
Talking is an essential part of problem solving and reasoning, as is asking questions. This activity is helping to develop your child's logical thinking skills.
Need a stepping stone?
Keep it simple both in selection of objects and the questions you ask. Try to keep your questions direct to begin with and give gentle prompts such as "does it stick?" rather than give a suggestion "could you put the things that stick together?", teasing this gentle out of your child. It takes time and lots of positive encouragement but the more your child does this the easier it will be for them to understand what to do and the best way to do it.
Need a further challenge?
Explain that you need two of the drawers for another job. How would they divide those objects into the other boxes? Does it work? Do they have to start again or can they be juggled around to be accommodated? Make sure that they justify their choices.