Saturday, February 9, 2013

Land & Water Sorting Tray for Toddlers

As a teacher using the Montessori Method, I often find myself teaching young children complex concepts in the simplest form.  When teaching children to understand land forms, maps and globes, we must find ways to make it fun and easy to understand.  I think about the most common and recognizable presentations and break it down into toddler terms.  For example, we know that water on most maps or globes is nearly always presented in blue and the land is typically shown in green.  This land and water sorting activity that I presented here is just one of the many ideas out there to help kids to begin thinking about the earth they live on.

There are many different ways to display a land and water sorting activity such as using actual water or photos of land and water to sort.  You can add air as a third sorting element when using photos, such as imagery of clouds and birds flying.  In general, it's good to have many different options to rotate for the kids to explore.

It's simple.  I used a wooden tray from an arts and craft store, green felt for the grass and a glitter blue foam sheet for the water.  Optional: I glued the green felt to another piece of foam sheet to help keep the felt in place better.  As for the objects, I have a huge bag of sorting objects that I've collected over the years, but it's easy to find things like this at your nearest toy store or dollar store.  Some objects include fish, sea shells and trees.  On the inside wall of the tray I labeled land and water (and I added the labels on the opposite wall, so that the child is always bound to see the labels and start recognizing them as site words).

Sorting objects that are found on land or the water is a great start for a young child to start thinking about the many differences between land and water.

Thanks for reading as always!  Feel free to pin or comment!
~Angelique Buman

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