Sorting is a beginning math skill that differentiates items by an attribute. With beginners like my daughter, sorting can be used to also teach new words, count, and of course in this case color recognition. I like using objects that a child already has a happy connection to. This color sorting activity with flowers is a perfect activity for preschoolers.
I find it a natural way to teach and it deepens the child’s interest in the activity. My daughter picked out these artificial flowers at the store that morning so when she went down for a nap I through this easy but oh so important activity together.
Color Sorting Activity with Flowers
Gather your materials. All you need are some flowers , and one container for each color plus one extra.
Start by putting all the flowers in the extra container. If the child is new to sorting put one flower of each color into the container as a guide. If they are capable of sorting simply by looking at the color than leave it out. Activities should be a challenge but not so challenging that they frustrate and impede learning. Don’t forget to label the colors as you go.
She sorted with very little help but I did pick a flower from the big pile and hand it to her each time. Saying ” Where does this one go?” If she popped it in the wrong one I wouldn’t correct her but I did give her the opportunity to correct herself by asking ” Are all those the same? ” that prompted a quick change of basket.
Always join in and encourage excitement and self congratulation. She is clapping wildly for herself as I cheered her on.
After we sorted I asked her to choose her favorite color. We dumped it out and counted the flowers.
Sorting is an important skill for math but there is no need to drill or use expensive manipulatives sold by stores. Use toys like blocks, items around the house like spoons and forks or my favorite for preschoolers – buttons!
If I were doing this with older children I could make it more complicated 3 ways:
- Add more items to sort.
- Sort by more than one attribute ( color and shape, color and size…).
- Add a hunt to find items first before sorting them.