Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Matching and sorting objects

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 7: Thinking Skills > Matching and sorting objects


Every child needs to learn how objects are similar to and different from each other. Matching and sorting objects helps teach a child to pay attention to important similarities and differences.

To help your child learn how to match objects

a man speaking as he hands a child a spoon.
Javier, there’s something on the table just like this. Can you give it to me?

Put 2 different objects — like a spoon and a pan — in front of your child and let him explore them. Then give him a third object that is like one of the first 2 objects. Ask him to find the 2 objects that are shaped the same.


Ask your child to match objects that are the same size or color, or that make the same sound, or have the same feel.

an older child speaking to a younger child, with balls of different sizes nearby.
If you find the big balls, Noah, we can play with them.
a boy putting a ball into a box with a round hole in the top.


Cut a hole in a box that is the same shape as a simple toy. Then ask your child to find the same shape to put in the box.

To help your child learn how to sort objects

a woman speaking as a small child puts toys through a hole into a box.
All the small toys can go in the box. But some toys are too big.

Make a hole in a box and then ask your child to find all the toys that are small enough to go through the hole into the box.

a woman speaking to a child as he sorts objects.
Let’s put the seeds in one pile and the stones in another.




Make a game of putting similar
objects together in a pile.

a man speaking as a boy sits near several sticks.
Let’s find the shortest stick. It will be good for making pictures in the sand.


Make a game of comparing objects.



Make a shape puzzle. Cut out shapes — like circles and squares — from a piece of strong cardboard. Help your child fit them back into the correct places. When he can do this, try harder shapes, like triangles and stars.

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