Children with language impairments frequently have difficulty with categorization. Being able to place items in categories is an important skill because it helps children to organize their thoughts and ideas and also serves as a prerequisite for describing abilities in classroom activities.
With young preschoolers, it is usually best to start with large, general categories such as foods, animals, or clothes. Help them learn how to categorize by letting them sort real objects into broad categories. For example, you might get 3 baskets and have them place doll clothes in one basket, plastic foods in the second basket, and toys in the third basket.
As children’s skills improve, make the categories smaller or more limited. For example, you might have the child classify animals as mammals or name clothes that are worn only in the winter. Children might also categorize foods as ones that grow on trees versus ones that come from animals.
As children get older, we like to teach categories using competitive games where children see who can guess the most items in selected categories.