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Collecting things is a fun way to help tamariki learn about matching, sorting and classifying. These three concepts they will use later on in maths, reading and science learning.

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’.