Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sorting Letters and Numbers

Last week I came across a blog post by PreKinders called Mailbox Math and it was adorable and so educational! I just knew that I needed to use the same idea for some of our own activities and that my kids would love it! I already had small metal mailboxes, but I really hoped to find the adorable mailboxes that you see below. We found them at Target in the dollar bargain section, and they are Valentine's Day themed, so if you want them, grab them before they are gone! (And here's a helpful tip - the glue on the sticker was tough to get off, so we scrubbed them with vegetable oil and they came right off!)


Right now we are focusing on sorting and matching activities. They both participated in this activity and we have been doing it daily because it's a great way to learn to recognize uppercase and lowercase letters and to sort even and odd numbers. I only grabbed two mailboxes, one for each, because I didn't want to be too greedy because they only had a handful of others and just in case there are other mothers in my area who wanted to use mailboxes the same way, I wanted to make sure there were some left for them. Hence why we are currently using them for activities that only sort two categories. 

I used red and pink construction paper and cut them into roughly 1 inch squares. I then wrote uppercase and lowercase letters on each square and also two sets of 1-20 numbers. 

We worked on letters first. I shuffled up the letters and then placed them face down in front of the two mailboxes. For the mailboxes, I used the spare squares to write lowercase and uppercase. After these pictures were taken I made new labels that read "lowercase" and "UPPERCASE" because I realized they looked too similar and Munchkin couldn't tell them apart. Specifying them really helped and he had no issues after that! 


One at a time they flipped over a square. At some points they worked together to sort the letters, but most of the time it was one of them working by themselves, with my assistance if they needed it. I will most likely create a printed and laminated version of these letter squares.


Afterwards we took off the lids and placed the letters on each side of the paper. I removed the labels and put them at the top of the paper and we went through and checked if they got all the letters right. Some were wrong, but they both did really great!


Then we moved on to numbers. Bean has been really interested in even and odd numbers recently, so I knew this would be a perfect activity for sorting them! I created labels for the mailboxes and we used the other side of the pink paper to set everything up on. They flipped the numbers over one at a time and sorted them.


And afterwards we dumped out the mailboxes to check their answers. Once again, they did pretty great! They are learning so much and it makes me so happy! :)


This turned out to be a really great activity to work on sorting letters and numbers! We will definitely be keeping these mailboxes out so we can continue using them even after Valentine's Day! The mailboxes added a fun twist to sorting that the kids really enjoyed!

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