Sorting it all out in preschool

We have been doing some serious color sorting this past week and as you know, serious play leads to serious learning…

To review colors, we put together color sorting trays. This tray was a box used to hold crayons by the bulk and it made a perfect sorting tray. We simply added laminated color cards in the bottom of each section that can be removed in case we want to do a different kind of sorting later on…

This two year old had definitely mastered the concept of sorting colors…

Because we had quite a few classes that were sorting colors this week, we had to come up with other sorting trays as well like these color sorting baskets…

Again, we simply put a laminated color card in the bottom of each strawberry basket which worked quite well…

We also used cereal bowls with a color card in the bottom of each bowl for sorting…

With the bowls set up like shown above – it kind of looks to me like a rainbow!

The fun part of this activity was hunting down objects for sorting that went with each color. We wanted to provide a basket of objects to add to our activity box but a teacher could just have the children search the room on their own to find objects that would go with each color…

The tables were definitely full of color this past week…

The teachers said their favorite color sorter out of all the ones we tried this week was the empty crayola box.  Oh yeah, and see how the colored paper comes out of the box? This young man is now putting them back inside the box in the order he prefers…

We all like to play in our own way…

Here are a few more sorting activities and sorting trays to check out…

Sorting by Color from L is for Learning (plastic bowls)

We’re Going on a Color Hunt from The Imagination Tree (buckets)

Color Sorting Tray by Family Fun Notebook (wooden tray)

Let’s Sort by Let’s Explore  (egg carton)

Color Sorting by Scott School  (egg carton)

Utensil Sort by The Amazing Mess (Utensil tray)

Plastic Bottle Cap Sorting by Pocket Full of Posies (Plastic containers with lids)

Car Sorting by Along the Way (Colors of card stock on a table)

Eggsellent Egg Trays by Our Worldwide Classroom (large egg cartons)

Seed Sorting by PreKinders (small bowls and paper)

Sorting Buttons by Little Family Fun (compartment tray)

By |2011-04-04T11:00:03+00:00April 4th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Scott April 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    The bulk crayon box is a great tool. I’ve also used it to hold materials for creating collages. But as a sorting box – it’s the best!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      I haven’t tried using them for collage materials – this is an awesome idea too!

  2. Pam April 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    great ideas! I have never actually put those large crayon boxes to any use…I think I may have to go confiscate the one in our preschool office 🙂 I just started working with one of my little guys today on colors- this will be a great addition! Thanks for the idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Pam – I hope this is helpful!

  3. Mandi April 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful site you have! Thank you so much for the linkup.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Mandi!

  4. samar bazerbashi May 2, 2011 at 2:12 am - Reply

    You’re a great teacher .You have such wonderful and useful ideas .You inspir me .Thank you.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 2, 2011 at 7:42 am - Reply

      Thank you Samar!

  5. Lisa McDonald September 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    This is an awesome idea! We have several of these bulk crayon boxes and almost threw them away over the summer. But we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it! I’m so glad we didn’t! I’m going to start hunting for our sorting objects!! Thanks for a great idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Lisa!

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