This chapter describes the different contexts in which young children may develop their understanding of everyday materials. Learning by exploring thematic collections is one way to contextualise learning about materials. Children can have a great deal of fun exploring the properties of artists media, beginning with experiments in mark-making. Collections such as those listed above can promote experiential learning in a play-based context. Initially the practitioner's role is to create the potential for learning by carefully planning the resources they will provide for such 'free' exploration. The 'Domino game' develops the skill of seriation through paired comparison of objects, a way of reasoning that can be applied to other sequencing activities. The science team at Bath Spa University have devised a number of sorting games that are designed to be used in a variety of ways to develop scientific skills and concepts.