Land and Sea Animal Sort

Sorting animals into two categories may seem like a simple activity, however there is a lot of important learning happening when children do this. Beginning to sort, categorise and compare collections based on their attributes is a very important early math skill.

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In this case we sorted our animals into two groups, those that live in the sea went onto the blue play silk and those that live on the land went onto the grass. We discussed each animal when we did it so that the children could share their knowledge of the animals and make their own decision on where to put it.

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It was a very successful activity for us and the number of animals we used worked well for a small group. You could always add more animals or use less depending on what works best for you.

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Early Years Learning Framework

Outcome 5 - Children are effective communicators

5.4 - Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work

This Activity is for:

  • Preschoolers and older toddler

Encourage children to:

  • Sort the animals and put them on the grass or water depending on where they live

  • Discuss what they are doing when they sort each animal

  • Name the animals

Extend on this by:

  • Sorting them in another way, such as by colour or number of legs

  • Adding another category such as ice and snow

Simplify this by:

  • Scaffolding 1:1 based on needs of each child

  • Using fewer animals

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