J's been super excited to help out around the house, so I've been letting him sort the silverware (minus the knives) while I empty the dishwasher. To my surprise, he is good, and I don't have to redo. He is able to sort things by size and shape, a very scientific process. Think of how we label/name animals or plants; it's all one big sorting game. He's learning at 3.5 years old that he can classify objects by using knowledge he's gained from previous experiences, observation, and scientific reasoning - "This is a fork. It's not a knife. It's a big fork, not a little one." He's nailed the silverware; I think he's ready for classifying animals. They might be a little trickier.
Win for an unintended science lesson and getting items checked off of my to-do list around the house.