Developmental Benefits of Shape Sorters
Sorting toys like shape sorters are versatile toys. They are fun and offer a lot of early learning opportunities. You can use them to teach your child about shapes and colours. It also helps them develop dexterity, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and many more.
What is a shape sorter?
Shape sorters are classic toys that have been around for many years. Their design has evolved over the years but their developmental value remains the same. They come with a set of shape pieces and a main sorter with holes. The main goal of the toy is to fit the shape pieces into the corresponding hole in the sorter. Once all pieces are in the sorter, your child can start again by opening its lid.
Different kinds of shape sorter
There are different kinds of shape sorters. The shape of the container can be as simple as a cube or as complex as Noah’s Ark. Some sorters are made from plastic while others of wood. They also come in various levels of difficulty. Wooden shape sorters are more challenging because they have more shapes and come with additional planes for sorting.
Wooden shape sorters are better than their plastic counterparts. Wood is sustainable material and better for the environment. They are also finished with chemical-free paint.
Shapes and Colours
Shape sorters primary purpose is to help children learn about shapes through play. Almost all shape sorters come with a set of brightly-colours shape pieces. You can teach your children about colours too.
Learning about shapes and colours at an early age is essential. Everything around us is made up of shapes and colours. It is an important foundational skill towards literacy and math. Knowing a shape's characteristics develops a child’s ability to sort and categorise objects. Sorting is considered an early form of math.
Letters and numbers are made up of shapes. When a child knows what a circle looks like then she’ll identify the letter 0 and the number 0. In order to identify a shape, one must know how many sides it has. Knowing how many sides a shape has involves counting. Also, geometry is a branch of math that kind of involves the study of shapes.
Problem solving and patience
Shape sorters provide children plenty of opportunity to solve a problem on their own. Encouraging your child to keep trying when she fails helps build confidence. It also improves her problem-solving skills. You can give them tips and teach patience until they fit the shapes into the right holes. Do not forget to compliment them when they do. It boosts and builds her self-confidence.
Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
Playing with shape sorters often involves repeated action. It may take several attempts before a child who is still learning about shapes to fit the shape pieces into the right holes in the sorter. This action helps develop a child’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Visual discrimination is the ability to identify and recognise details in visual images. Familiarity with a shape’s characteristics helps filter unnecessary information from her environment. It also helps her associate shapes with objects around her.
Shape sorters are simple toys. But they are important to a child’s early development. This is the reason why they remain among the most popular toys for little children.
Next Up: How to Maximize Learning Using a Shape Sorter