Sock Sorting

Introduce your child to early mathematical development by introducing them to the concept of pairs, doubles and patterns with sock sorting.

You will need:

• A selection of approximately 10 to 12 pairs of socks - variety encouraged

• A basket or box

Doing the activity: 

Separate the socks and place them in the basket or box. Invite your child to help you sort the socks and try to find matches. Engage your child by asking things like:

"I've got a red sock, can you help me find another red sock"?

How this develops early mathematical learning:

Matching is an important early childhood math skill that keeps repeating throughout one’s educational life in various forms and helps children to identify same or similar objects based on their common properties.

The theory of sorting and matching helps children to develop a range of thinking skills and builds the foundations for later concepts.

The support to the visual memory help children to learn about early representation and problem solving.

• Skills of sorting and matching by size, colour and pattern.

• Developing the concept of two and what makes two.

• Maths language of the same, different, pair and one more.


For further involvement, you could make sock sorting into a game:

• Lay all the socks out on the table in a square grid type format.

• Place a piece of paper over each sock.

• Choose which piece of paper to lift up to reveal the first sock

• After, choose another piece of paper to try and find its pair.

• If it is not a match both socks get covered again.

• When a pair is found pop them together and back into the basket.

• Repeat this task until all of the pairs are found. This activity promotes recognition skills and increased memory.