The Importance of Matching and Grouping Skills in Preschool Period
Often times, as young parents, we start teaching our kids math by counting objects. By drawing attention to some household items around us, we count things like toys, balls or fruits loudly, “One, Two, Three…”. The technical term used for this is ‘counting’. But there is much more to teaching math than just counting! Matching and Grouping skills are probably more important than counting skills in preschool years.
Early Childhood Math Skills: Matching and Grouping
If the goal is to develop a solid foundation of math for your child in preschool, we recommend that you, as a parent, look at math from a more holistic perspective. We examine these two important early math skills in depth on this blog.
Matching is an important early childhood math skill that allows an individual to repeat it in various ways throughout their education life. Matching is an important classification skill for preschool children. Matching helps us identify identical or similar objects based on their common properties. For example, the underlying skill in identifying congruent or similar triangles is Matching. In mathematics, if there is a one-to-one perfect correspondence function between two sets, it still essentially matches. Some of the important early matching skills a child should develop include:
- Matching by Shape
- Matching by Size
- Matching by Color
- One to One Match
- Matching Same Sets / Collections
This is also intuitive but often overlooked as an early childhood mathematical skill. We humans like to group. This helps us bring order to the chaos. Imagine being given 20 balls. In this collection, there are 4 balls each of 5 different colors. Grouping can then be thought of as dividing these 20 balls into 5 small groups of 4 balls each, depending on the color. It is not surprising that experts see grouping as an important pre-mathematical skill. Like matching, grouping is an important classification skill. In general, from an early childhood perspective, the main grouping skills that a child should develop are:
- Grouping by Color
- Grouping by Size
- Grouping by Shape
From 18 months onwards, as a parent, you should focus on introducing these concepts (matching and grouping) to your child in simple and practical ways. You can creatively use your own surroundings and special montessori materials to make puzzles and exercises that will encourage your child.
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