Collecting things around the home or during walks can support development of science and maths concepts. Tamariki learn about matching, sorting, grouping, classifying and measurement. Many of these skills are also useful in language learning and reading.

Why do it?

  • Your child is likely to notice a lot more detail now and this will help them to identify differences and similarities between things.
  • Matching involves finding items that are exactly the same, for example a ‘pair’ of shoes.
  • Sorting is putting objects together that have ‘a’ common feature, for example same colour, or size or shape.
  • Classifying is grouping things which are alike in ‘some’ (often less obvious) way. For example ‘things we find in a bathroom’.
  • Collecting doesn’t have to cost anything but your time. It can be done anywhere and anytime using natural resources or things from around the house.
  • Can help to provide a physical link to a past experience or memory. e.g. ‘My collection from our walk in the bush’.

How to do it

  • Bring their attention to details by using words like same/different, big/small talk about colour, shape, or texture.
  • Play ‘matching’ games shoes/socks (size or shape) pegs (colour)
  • Play ‘can you pick up all the blue things’ ‘find all the round things’
  • Practice classifying by asking ‘where does this go’ type questions when they’re helping you put groceries away.
  • Collect things on walks (pebbles, leaves, sticks, shells) and bring them back for matching, sorting and classifying.
  • Make a collage by gluing items onto paper or card ‘my collection from the beach’.