Here are some ways to teach sorting by color in Preschool and Pre-K using simple, low cost materials with quick prep.
Paint Sample Cards
These paint sample cards are the kind you can pick up for free at the hardware store. I get different hues of each color for the children to sort.
Beads and Pipe Cleaners
Children sort pony beads by stringing them onto different pipe cleaners. I used a jewelry wire tool to curl the ends of the pipe cleaners so that they wouldn’t poke or scratch anyone.
These are gummy bears, but any kind of gummies could be used for this activity. I drew lines on a paper plate with a Sharpie to make sections for sorting.
These flowers came in a package in the wedding section of a craft store, and the clear plastic flower box also came from a craft store.
Lots of different kinds of math manipulatives can be used to sort by color. I place clear punch cups on each math tray for the children to sort each color into.
I use craft punches to cut out little paper shapes, and draw lines on paper (or print out sorting sheets) to make sections for the paper punches to be sorted into. Children glue the paper punches on the sorting sheet. These are perfect for saving for portfolios. Also, check out the blog post on Paper Punch Leaf Sorting.
Markers, Crayons, Colored Pencils
In our Art Center, we have markers, crayons, and colored pencils sorted into clear cups by color. Children learn how to sort the different hues, for example light blue and dark blue go together, pink and red go together, gray and black go together. We also do color mixing activities with paint to show children how these colors are related.
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