Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooky Sorting -- A Fun & Easy Preschool Activity for Toddlers

Alright, I guess for this to be really spooky we'd need some severed arms and skulls and pus, but I figured I'd keep it preschool-age-friendly this time. I know, I know. Still, Olivia's kind of in love with this silly--err, I mean spooky--little sorting tray.

For this activity you'll need a tray with compartments (I like deviled egg trays) and several sets of matching objects. Our spooky tray has 12 compartments around the edge and includes the following 12 pairs of items:

  • little handmade clay oranges
  • pumpkin erasers (from the Target $ section)
  • foam square beads (from the $ store)
  • sparkly orange pom poms (from the Target $ section)
  • small googly eyes (from Auntie Anna)
  • kitty erasers (from the Target $ section)
  • tiny plastic pumpkins (from the Target $ section)
  • large googly eyes (from Auntie Anna)
  • large soft orange pom poms
  • foam circle beads (from the $ store)
  • pony beads (from Nana)
  • small soft orange pom poms (from our stash)

Just hunt around your house and see what small things you can find that look fun.

And this probably goes without saying, but this activity is intended for children who are old enough to not eat the small objects.

Step 1: Mix objects

Start with all of the objects in the center of the tray. They should be mixed up fairly well.

Step 2: Sort objects

Then, choose an object and place it in the compartment at the top. Find the match and place it in the same compartment. Continue doing this for each pair, filling the compartments in a clockwise pattern.

Step 3: Check your work

Once you've finished sorting the objects, check your work and make sure all of the objects are matched up correctly.

Step 4: Return objects to center of tray

Starting with the first object, return each object back to the center of the tray, one at a time.

Don't let your child scoop the objects haphazardly back into the center of the tray. Part of the value of this activity is that it helps build focus and accuracy in work. Take advantage of the clean-up part of the activity to reinforce the one-to-one concept (i.e. picking objects up one at a time). This will help build good skills in helping your child prepare for one-to-one counting.

Be sure to try out the rest of this year's fun Halloween preschool activities!

Sorting activities are great for toddlers and are so easy to change up. Try these other fun sorting activities too!


Find more fun and easy preschool ideas on the Preschool page.  You can also find them by clicking on the Preschool button in the header.  Enjoy!   


Kathy Haynie said...

I'll bet Lala loves this. Maybe a video sometime?
(PS - the "Spooky Sorting" in the orange circle with the googly eyes at the top of the post is really cute.)

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

Oh, Becca would love this...and I've been lame about preschool lately. Maybe we'll do this tomorrow.