Importance of Matching & Sorting Skills in Preschool Years

Early childhood math
Matching and Sorting Skills in Preschool Years

Many times, we as young parents start teaching mathematics to their child by counting objects. We point to some common household objects, usually anything that is in the nearby vicinity, like toys or balls or fruits and say aloud “One, Two, Three …”. The technical term for this is ‘enumeration’. But there is a lot more to teaching mathematics than just enumeration! Matching and Sorting skills are probably more important in preschool years than even counting skills.

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Early Childhood Math Skills: Matching & Sorting

If the aim is to develop a solid mathematical foundation for your child at the preschool stage itself, we encourage you as a parent to look at mathematics from a more holistic perspective. We look at these two important early mathematical skills, in depth, in this blog.

1. Matching

Matching is an important early childhood math skill that keeps repeating throughout one’s educational life in various forms. Matching is an important classification skill for preschoolers. Matching helps us identify same or similar objects based on their common properties. For example, the underlying skill in identifying congruent or similar triangles is, Matching. In Algebra, if there is a perfect one-to-one correspondence function between two sets, it is again essentially matching. Some of the important early matching skills that a child needs to develop are:

    1. Matching for Shape
    2. Matching for Size
    3. Matching for Colour
    4. Matching One to One
    5. Matching same Sets/Collections

Importance of matching in preschool matching skills for preschoolers preschool math concepts skills importance of sorting pre math skills for preschoolers why is sorting important for preschoolers classification skills for preschoolers

Importance of matching in preschool matching skills for preschoolers preschool math concepts skills importance of sorting pre math skills for preschoolers why is sorting important for preschoolers classification skills for preschoolers

Importance of matching in preschool matching skills for preschoolers preschool math concepts skills importance of sorting pre math skills for preschoolers why is sorting important for preschoolers classification skills for preschoolers

2. Sorting

This too is intuitive but often ignored early childhood mathematical skill. We human beings like to sort. This helps us bring order to chaos. Imagine that you are given 20 Balls. In this collection, there are 4 balls each of 5 different colours. Sorting can then be thought of as the act of dividing these 20 balls into 5 smaller groups of 4 balls each, based on colour. It is no wonder that experts consider sorting to be an important pre math skill. Like matching, sorting too is an important classification skill. In general, from an early childhood perspective, the basic sorting skills that a child needs to develop are:

    1. Sorting by Colour
    2. Sorting by Size
    3. Sorting by Shape

Importance of matching in preschool matching skills for preschoolers preschool math concepts skills importance of sorting pre math skills for preschoolers why is sorting important for preschoolers classification skills for preschoolers

Importance of matching in preschool matching skills for preschoolers preschool math concepts skills importance of sorting pre math skills for preschoolers why is sorting important for preschoolers classification skills for preschoolers

Importance of matching in preschool matching skills for preschoolers preschool math concepts skills importance of sorting pre math skills for preschoolers why is sorting important for preschoolers classification skills for preschoolers

Ira Resources To Set up Early Learning at Home


From as early as 18 Months, you as a parent should focus on introducing these concepts (matching and sorting) through simple and practical ways to your child. You can improvise and creatively use your own surroundings to come up with puzzles and exercises which stimulate your child.

You will find more interesting articles on early mathematics on our website. Don’t forget to read them as well.

Summary:
  • This blog talks about early childhood (preschool and kindergarten) mathematics skills that parents should focus on.
  • Very often parents start by focusing exclusively on the counting of numbers and ignore other basic math skills.
  • Matching and sorting are two important early math skills that help lay a strong foundation.

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