You know that I am a believer in children learning to help with chores as part of being a member of a family. As well as teaching children life skills, there can be all sorts of other learning that occurs through everyday tasks and chores. Like the early mathematics hiding in a basket of clean laundry 🙂
Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Sorting and Grouping
What is it? The child identifies a common feature to form a group, as separate from another group.
Why is it important? Classification is important to learning to organise knowledge and ideas. Children need to learn to discriminate differences, to reason and analyse, and to select items to form groups.
You might say “Could you make one pile of all the underpants and one pile of the socks?” or “Let’s make one pile of your clothes and one of Daddy’s”
What is it? The child can identify which items are the same and which are different.
Why is it important? The ability to discriminate difference is important to all sorts of learning and not just mathematical concepts, for example, learning to recognise the difference between similar letters (b and d) is important to learning to read and write.
You might say “Can you find the pair of red socks?” or “Can you find two pairs of pink knickers?”
What is it? The child arranges items in sets of two, similar in form and/or function, that are dependent upon each other.
Why is it important? Children are learning about one-to-one correspondence which is important to learning to count.
You might say “Could you please put each sock in the pile together with its matching partner?”
What is it? The child is learning to look more specifically at colour, size, shapes, patterns and number of items in order to compare items or groups of items.
Why is it important? Children learn to look closely at similarities and differences to compare two different items or groups of items.
You might say “Do we have more black socks or more white socks?” or “Which member of our family has the biggest socks?” or “Who do you think has the most underpants in the pile – you or Daddy? Let’s check and see.”
What is it? Learning to count aloud in sequence.
Why is it important? Having regular, fun opportunities to practice counting out loud is fabulous for reinforcing the correct number sequence.
You might say “How many pairs of socks have we folded? Let’s count them together.”
Do your children help you sort and fold the laundry?