Sort, Order, Build!

Build math skills through activities like sorting and building.

As the video explains, math isn’t just about numbers or addition. Sorting, ordering, and building also lay the foundation for future math learning. As kids explore these concepts in your program, use math language to help them describe relationships and ask (or answer!) questions.


Introduce kids to small objects that come in different colors, shapes, and sizes (like pattern blocks or table-top blocks). You might ask, “Are these two blocks the same?” or “Can you find all of the red blocks?” Over time, introduce more challenges that involve sorting by shape, size, and so on.


Line up all of the drawing tools—crayons, pencils and markers—in the classroom. You might say, “Let’s find the smallest crayon!” or hold two pencils up and ask, “Which is longer?” Challenge kids to arrange the tools from smallest to largest.


When kids build, they are also measuring, estimating, and balancing. As you build alongside them, guide the conversation by asking questions and commenting on their work. You might say, “I wonder how many more square blocks we’ll need to finish this wall” or ask, “Which block could we use to fit this space?”