ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: 123 Learn With Me: Sorting

Monday, March 16, 2009

123 Learn With Me: Sorting

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Sorting & Classifying are skills necessary for preschool age children and beyond. Look for age appropriate activities for sorting by shape, color, and size.

Sample Lesson: Sorting Stickers by Size, Shape, and Color

Learning Objective:
The children will sort foam stickers by color, shape, and size

~3 circles cut from construction paper
~1 variety package of foam stickers (this was a winter pack)

1. Presort the stickers so you are only offering a reasonable amount of self-chosen stickers for the kids to work on (based on attention span, age, etc.)
2. Ask the children to sort the stickers into piles based on their shape.
3. Mix them back together before asking children to sort the stickers into piles based on color
4. Finally practice sorting the stickers in piles based on size: small, medium, large (on corresponding construction paper circles)

Here are a few other ideas to get you started.
Take pictures of objects from around your house and use them in this Familiar Objects Sort.

Katie at Katie's Nesting Spot offers a clever activity for sorting by color using her fabulous button collection. Her daughter uses them to sort by color. However buttons can also be sorted by size, the number of holes in them, and light or dark. They can be used for counting and for making simple patterns. Watch a video how-to, by ehow, on sorting by attribute.
Katie has also used older versions of, and recommends, the following activities available from Lakeshore Learning: Comparing Sizes Concept Kit, My First Sorting Bears, and the Sorting Mystery Box.

Chasing Cheerios shares two different sorting activities that have been organized into travel activity bags. The first activity uses multi-color & multi-shaped pasta.

The second activity uses counting bears to be sorted into corresponding colored bowls.
Jenny at Our Nifty Notebook chose conversation hearts for her fun sorting activity. This can done with Lucky Charms cereal for St. Patrick's Day and Fruit Loops year round.
Play a fun game online at Scholastic, Flo and Zoe Sort It Out features characters from the popular book series Clifford the Big Red Dog. Kids help sort by color, shape, pattern, use, and more.
Nick Jr. also has online games that practice matching and sorting, at least 36 games! Practice basic skills with your child's favorite cartoon character.
Hubbard's Cupboard shows sorting activities, shares a PDF for sorting mats, and give more ideas for what to sort including: magnetic or not, sink or float, and texture sorting.
This final activity gives preschool children the opportunity to sort by shape.
Now, you have the opportunity to win your own Shape Sorting Activity!
Today's Giveaway:

You will receive one entry per comment.
Please submit separate comments for each entry option you choose.

To Win:
Leave a comment - How would you like to see our future posts labeled... by age-level? subject area? other?
Send us a submission
Become a follower
Add our button to your site

Good Luck! We’ll announce a winner tomorrow!


  1. love the sorting we do that alot! divided subject would be good!

  2. your link is on my sidebar

  3. We sort by color and shape a lot at our house. I'd love to see posts labeled by age as well as by subject.

  4. I just became a follower, but with my other blogger name, "The girl who painted trees."

  5. I love all these great ideas. I wouldn't mind having some of the activities sorted by age.

  6. Hi Ladies, I agree listing an age range would be helpful. Since I have two peanuts. But I think the projects should be categorized by subject first.

  7. Oh, I like the idea of activities sorted by age. There are lots of things my 2 yo can't do yet...but lots that she can, too!

  8. I'd like to see activities sorted by subject, since what age something is appropriate for is sort of variable, depending on the child.
    Keep up the great posts. I keep clicking links and finding more and more cool resources.

  9. I think this topic is awesome!
    I like that the subject is a whole post, then it could be categorized into age groups under that.

    Because I am a work out of home mom, I have to go into the activities I like and bookmark them! I will have to get organized myself!

  10. Great post. Thanks for featuring me too!

    My daughter is always sorting her toys, just for fun! LOL!

    I think the posts should be labeled by subject area. By age-level would be difficult, because children in the same age level will have varying abilities. Plus, many activities can be adapted to older or younger kids.

  11. I also have your button on my blog.

  12. I think they should be labled by subject area.

  13. Fantastic idea! I think having the posts labeled by subject area would be fantastic! Thanks for the great idea's!

  14. that's such a cute sorting activity! by subject area. BTW, I'm a follower and have your button!

  15. I'd like to see things listed by skills needed/skills learned.

    Sometime I have kiddos that have not experienced anything prior to introducing an exercise. They may know "red" but not "triangle." And some kids come with no scissors skills (ugh!). I'd like to tailor activities so that they can be brought up to the level of their classmates without them losing interest and heaping frustraition.

    I'm a follower & have your button on my blog! Great work - by the way, and thank you for asking about preferences. :-)

  16. I'm a follower and I also told my sister-in-law about your site this weekend as she is looking for ideas to do with her little girls at home!

  17. I think sorting by age would be a wonderful idea!

  18. Listing by age would be great.

    My 2 1/2 year old plays with fake money coins of different colors. I watched her one day as she sorted them by color all by herself. I was so proud, sniff.

  19. I have your button on my blog:)

  20. Love the conglomeration of ideas on these posts. I like the idea of orting by age if appropriate.

  21. I think that by subject area since there are so many different levels of learning in a grade level. I teach kindergarten and have some students already on almost a second grade level.
    I have subscribed to your blog. I think it is awesome!

  22. I think labeling by subject would be helpful.

  23. Just found your blog, and already LOVE it. I think sorting by subject is helpful, but would also appreciate an age range where possible.