A household chore like folding washing can be a fun game that strengthens relationships. Science and maths concepts (colour recognition, matching, force, gravity) are supported as your toddler practices coordination and balance (throwing, catching).

Why do it?

  • Sock games make for a fun, simple, everyday learning activity when sorting and folding the washing.
  • They provide an opportunity for a matching activity (find the sock pair or are their two red socks?).
  • Socks are soft and light, and are good for practising throwing and catching which also involves practice at taking turns.
  • ‘Sock balls’ can also be aimed and thrown into the laundry basket, which helps gross (big muscle) motor skills.

How to do it

  • See if a toddler can help find the matching sock. — ask, ‘Where is Dad’s other sock?’
  • Make the pair into a sock ball.
  • See if your toddler is interested in catching, throwing or rolling the sock ball.
  • Play with each other back and forth, or have a target to aim for, like the laundry basket.
  • Repeat the game with other pairs of socks.
  • Turn a sock into a hand puppet by adding eyes or nose with a pen or stickers.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Kei whea tērā atu tōkena o papa? Where is Dad's other sock?
He rite tonu te tae ō ēnei tōkena These socks are the same colour
To be alike, matching
He rerekē ēnei tōkena These socks are different
Mahia he paoro Make a ball
Whiua te pōro Throw the ball
Takahuri te pōro Roll the ball
Whiua te pōro ki roto i te kete Throw into the basket
Whiua te pōro ki a Pāpā Throw the ball to Dad
Kete kākahu Clothes basket
Homai te pōro e te tau Give me the ball my darling
Do it again
Nōku te wā My turn
Nōu te wā Your turn
Kei hea te pōro? Where is the ball?
Kei raro i te tepu Under the table
Kei muri i te tūru Behind the chair
Keretao tōkena Sock puppet
Ngā karu Eyes
He ihu A nose
Kino kē koe e te tau! You're awesome my darling!