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Lockdown Day 8 – Sorting Boxes and Lids


We heard you cursing your Tupperware cupboard/drawer yesterday when you were looking for a container for those delicious snail biscuits! Bottoms here, lids over there, bottoms here, lids …. nowhere to be found!

This is a perfect opportunity to engage your enthusiastic little helpers.

1. Create a workspace on the floor a little distance away from the cupboard. You may wish to ask the child to lay out a towel or a small mat on which to collect all the lids and containers.

2. Invite the child to empty the cupboard or drawer and to carry all the lids and containers to the prepared workspace. Many trips back and forth will strengthen core strength, movement and balance skills.

3. When the cupboard is empty…. why not…. let’s quickly wipe the shelves so that we can pack the containers back into a clean space! You may wish to use one or two squares of the kitchen towel that you (panic) bought instead of a cloth! Ask the child to spray a couple of squirts of cleaner onto the shelf and wipe this down with the kitchen towel or cloth. Pack the spray away and throw the paper towel into the compost (or bin).

4. Back to the mat for the fun (learning) to be begin!

5. Skill set #1 – let’s use those FINE MOTOR SKILLS to take the lids off the containers.

6. Skill set #2GROUP (sort) the lids at the top of the mat, and the bottoms, well, at the bottom of the mat (obviously!). An opportunity for the development of spatial concepts and visual discrimination.

7. Skill set #3COUNT the lids and the bottoms. Are there the same number of each? Which has more? Which has less? Which has the most? Which has the least? How many more lids than bottoms? How many less bottoms than lids? Lovely language extensions possible here!

8. Skill set #4SORT the lids and bottoms by SHAPE. Are there squares? Rectangles? Circles? Ovals? If you really want to get excited, you could extend this even further by adding a COLOUR grouping!

9. Skill set #5GRADE the lids and bottoms of each shape by SIZE. This will make it easier to do the next step, and will again give the opportunity for visual discrimination and comparative language skills.

10. Skill set #6MATCH and PAIR each lid with a bottom and close all of the containers. Great one-to-one correspondence and fine motor development; and your children’s teachers will thank you for never having to open and close your children’s lunchboxes again! Should you notice that there are some containers that seem to be a bit grubby – consider having a basin at hand to place these into for a later washing activity! (You saw how good they were at slop scrubbing – time to extend these skills!)

11. Skill set #7CRITICAL THINKING and PROBLEM SOLVING: How will these all be packed back into the cupboard/drawer? How can we make them fit? This will probably be a bit like doing a 3-dimensional puzzle!

12. Are there any containers or lids left over that have no partner? Let’s put these aside in a safe place – they can surely be recycled soon in a garden or science or art or cooking project! Watch this space… we still have 13 lockdown days to go!

13. If the child is still interested – get the washing activity going! If not – fold up the towel or roll up the mat and enjoy knowing that there are no more lonely Tupperware halves waiting to drive you crazy!