A simple holiday math activity with ornament sorting!
Toddlers and Christmas ornaments are like peas and carrots. At least mine are. It’s like a moth-to-a-flame type situation around here so I decided to give the people what they want: and the people want ornaments to play with.
I turned plain old ornament shenanigans into a toddler sorting activity. Sorting is powerful math for toddlers and I loved the chance to interact with our holiday decor while learning through play.
Setting up this holiday sort is so easy!
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I grabbed a bunch of our plastic ornaments, making sure to pick two colors and two sizes. This opened the window to multiple sorting options for my curious toddler (2.5 years old).
Why is sorting so important?
I love a good sorting activity something fierce, and this ornament sorting is no exception.
Sorting is a basic math skill and something that is so important later on in our kids’ lives – might as well expose them to this early and help them to master it. When a toddler is sorting, they are analyzing objects, finding relationships, applying rules and thinking logically about a set of items. It may seem like a simple concept but sorting and classifying is a big deal.
Like I said before, I used ornaments in two sizes and also in two colors. To me, I feel like I’m always falling back on color sorting with my toddler and I want him to see that we can sort and classify by other attributes too.
To start this toddler activity, I asked him to first sort by size.
In an effort to keep the ornaments contained and from rolling away from us, I brought out my two cupcake pans to let him sort into. I’m sure you have beautiful cupcake pans at home but mine are disgusting. It is what it is.
My son did a great job sorting by size and once he finished, we dumped them back onto the carpet and went for round two: sorting by color.
Eventually, I would love to sort by texture or “type of ornament topper” but we just aren’t ready for that yet so color and size met the mark for this event.
Once he finished, he sat and played with these tins and ornaments for.ev.er (ok like 8 minutes but you feel me). Even my 11 month old came over to join in the party.
She says ornaments are delicious. She prefers to eat her math at this point.
Ornament sorting is an easy holiday math activity to set up for your little learners. They’ll love the chance to learn with the holiday decor and you’ll love seeing them so engaged in a math activity.