This activity can be played with stuffed animals, toy animals, or with pictures of animals cut out of magazines. It builds on the Alike and Different activities described earlier.
Have your child assemble a group of various animals. Then say that you will sort the animals into groups using one characteristic, such as color. Talk about the sorting as you do it. Ask your child to tell you what the end result is—that all the black animals are together, all the brown animals are together, etc.
Pile the animals together again and ask your child for another way to sort them, such as by type of animal, number of legs, big/little, spots/no spots, wings/no wings, etc. Ask your child to sort them by any characteristic he or she chooses. Encourage him or her to explain how the animals are being sorted.
Use this sorting activity in other ways throughout the year. Your child will think of creative ways to sort objects. Encourage this creativity and attention to detail!