Creative Play Quick Tip: Sort It Out!

Starting around 18 months, toddlers begin to notice differences and commonalities between objects—which means it’s time to sort and group!


HOW THEY PLAY: Preschoolers naturally seek to organize objects by color, size, shape, texture and type. Feed their hunger for this type of play by providing sorting toys like lacing beads, shape sorting cubes and block assortments. Encourage your child to sort things in daily life, using all of his senses: Is that a bird or a dog making noise outside? Is this a dark or a light towel? Are these groceries warm or cold? They’ll be happily busy working on this exciting new skill . . . and you may even get some help putting the groceries away and sorting the laundry!

WHAT THEY’RE LEARNING: As kids observe each item and think through which ones are the same and which are different, they’ll be developing visual perception and cognitive skills. The thought processes being practiced now—The red blocks are different from the blue blocks—will later emerge during the school years as your child tackles numbers, letter formation, spelling, scientific observation, and much more. Your child is also building verbal skills while considering different ways to describe each object and group.

Shpe SorterProvide lots of variety and plenty of play time to help these key skills grow. And join in! Hearing your different perspective may help your child see new cognitive connections . . . and you’ll be strengthening emotional connections, too.





  1. Kathy Williamson says:

    I recently tried a Melissa & Doug 30 piece jigsaw puzzle and I appreciated the quality and construction. Keep up the good work! I will be purchasing more for my grandchildren. The puzzle did not fall apart in little hands and the colors were soooo real.

    • How wonderful to hear that you’re enjoying puzzles with your grandchildren! Durable is key with playing with kids–and we’re so glad our jigsaws are meeting your standards. Did you know: Our big floor puzzles are just as durable and easy to clean, too. We know cookie time sometimes melds right into puzzle time, so we add an “Easy-Clean” finish to our cardboard floor puzzles to make cleanup a snap. (Just wipe with a cloth to erase all signs of snacktime.)

      If you have a couple of minutes, you can also pop over to the product page and leave a review there to help other shoppers. Just go to and click on the picture of the puzzle you bought. Thanks!