Roadmap: Sorting and ordering
Toddlers are often drawn to sorting games, or activities in which they can create their own sense of order. By categorising and sorting - be it to their own criteria or one that is established by their game or task - children are exploring the idea that some things can be the same while others are different. Sorting is an early form of maths and the skills it fosters transfer easily to the classroom once school begins.
Sorting trays, nested toys and loose parts such as boxes and Russian dolls are a great way in to this type of activity for toddlers, though the earliest type of sorting begins at birth or even before.