So I put Owen and Cora to work last week during Maddy’s half day at school.
While I put aside the clothing they’d wear on our trip to Pennsylvania, they sorted socks. And sorted, and sorted, and sorted.
- Sorting Socks: I’m sure every family has this problem, and if they don’t, I want to know their secret. But for us, the sock portion of everyone’s drawers is just. . . nuts.
So on this day, I said to Owen and Cora, Okay, friends. if we want to be ready to go to Nanny and Pap’s house for a few days, I really need your help. These sock drawers are an absolute mess. I need you two to put on your best sorting hats and help me organize these sad and lonely pairs of socks.
Then I dumped Owen’s socks on the floor and showed them what I meant. I put four socks in a row, and then I searched for their matches. When I found one, I put it on top of its partner. I did this for each one, and then I told them to pick four socks that they could help find their friends.
Yikes! Owen’s sad, unsorted socks
They each picked four socks and searched for their partners. When all four were matched, I folded them into a ball and put them aside, and they grabbed four more. If we couldn’t find a match for one, we put it in the “lost sock” basket.
It was easy for them, and they had fun doing it. Sure, by the time we dumped Maddy’s socks on the floor, they started griping and moaning, but we all worked together and sorted everyone’s socks. And all the while, they were using their brains to figure out what to look for to find matches.
And, in the end, Cora and Owen were both happy to see their clean and organized sock drawers. Now, when I ask them to go and grab a pair of socks, they can do it easily–and they won’t come downstairs with different sock for each foot. (Not that I mind; I’m just happy to see them with two socks on, but still. . . .)
Owen is four years old, and Cora is two; they are completely capable of helping me with this task, and I wonder why I didn’t put them to work before now.
We’ve sorted everything under the sun–we’ve done crayon piece sorting, bead sorting, rhyme sorting, sound sorting, money sorting, candy sorting, color sorting, pop bead sorting, letter and number sorting, bean sorting, tricky letter font sorting, and toy sorting. Why not socks?
Sorting is worthwhile for so many reasons, but helping to keep their own rooms and drawers clean on top of it? We’ll definitely be sorting socks more often around here; I like the kind of learning that helps to keep drawers and rooms clean on top of being a little bit fun.