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Here is a game that is simple to make, costs next to nothing, and can be adapted to children of all ages.
If your group includes children of different ages, simply adapt the questions according to each child's capacities.
To begin, you must select 2, 3, or 4 different categories. Choose a few objects or pictures related to each one. Of course, if the children in your group are very young, it is best to limit the number of categories.
Start with two categories and slowly add more as children progress.
Here are a few categories you may explore:
Think of the items you have on hand when selecting your categories.
Once this is done, create a poster to represent each category. You can either draw on your poster or use a picture found in a catalogue. You will need one box for each category. Stick a picture identifying the category on each box. If you wish, you may also use hula hoops, chairs, or adhesive tape on the floor.
Now, here's how to explore your sorting game depending on the ages of the children in your group.
For two year olds: Let children pick an object or a picture. Name each object and help children associate them to the correct category.
For three year olds: Pick an object or a picture. Name the item and encourage children to associate it to the correct category on their own.
For four year olds: With children of this age, use the same method used with three year olds.
Be sure to ask children questions. For example, you may ask them why they are associating each item to a specific category, encourage them to name other items that would belong in this category, or invite them to discuss ways they could use the item.
Another way to playYou may also choose to blindfold one child at a time and have him/her pick an object. Encourage the child to describe the item and try to identify it. The other children can provide clues.
As you can see, this activity is very simple. Use the objects you have on hand as well as creativity to ask the right questions. Encourage children to help you prepare this activity too. They will love it!
This game can be presented over and over again, simply change the categories to make things interesting. With younger children, you may also choose to repetitively use the same categories to make the game easier for them.
Maude DubéSpecial education teacher
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