Let us now look at some activities that can be organised with preschoolers to develop their ability to classify.
1. You could start by giving children different materials to play with. While playing, they spontaneously think of ways of 'arranging' them. Of course, their 'classification' may 'seem quite arbitrary to you but that doesn't matter. What is important is that they are getting an opportunity to handle a variety of materials, and 'organise' them in some manner. At this stage the children may not be ready to classify on the basis of even one criterion.
2. At the next stage you could ask them to classify objects that are familiar to them on the basis of one, physical characteristic like colour, or shape, be-I or texture. You could explain-what has to be done - "Put together all the objects which are red in colour", "Put together all the sticks like this one", etc. Initially you may have to form the groups to show the children how to do the activity.
3. You could make available a variety of leaves/stones/pulses/balls, and ask children to sort them into groups. Let children evolve their own criteria for classification and group them to any way they like. Once they complete the activity, talk to them about the criteria they have evolved by asking them questions like "Why are these together?", "Why not put this here ?", etc.
While children are having a meal, you could ask them which foods taste sweet, and which are salty.
A more complex game would be to divide up some objects you, based on some criterion. Then you could give the children a few chances to guess what your criterion is.
List two more activities to help children improve their ability to classify. Let us now consider activities related to ordering and serration.