5 Fun Sorting Activities for Preschoolers

All things are categorized or put into groups depending on their use or characteristics. Grouping things makes it easy to identify them. Teaching preschool children grouping or sorting things into groups makes them aware of the things around them. It also makes it easier for them to identify things. For example, sorting and making different groups of wild animals, farm animals, and pet animals helps the children to identify the animals and then classify them into the respective groups.

Through this post, I will be discussing different activities that can be done with preschool children to teach them sorting different categories of things.

Sorting Vegetables

Under this category, the teacher is teaching children to sort the vegetables into underground vegetables and those that grow above the ground. The teacher arranges for 2 shallow trays with mud. There is a basket with vegetables. For example, carrot, onion, capsicum, cucumber, potato, broccoli, etc.

The teacher shows the vegetables to the children and names each vegetable. She also explains that some of these vegetables grow under the ground while others grow above the ground. The teacher shows the vegetables one by one and puts them in the trays under the mud or on the mud as the case may be. For example, the onion is put under the mud, the capsicum is kept on the mud.

This activity makes children aware of different vegetables. It also teaches them how to sort vegetables into different groups. As an activity, the children can be given the vegetables and told to sort it appropriately.

vegetable sorting

Sorting Pictures

This activity is done to enhance the English speaking skills and vocabulary of the children. The aim of this activity is to teach children to sort pictures according to the beginning letter. For example, all pictures beginning with the letter ‘A’ are put in the same group. 

The teacher has pictures of different things. For example, an airplane, an ant, a baboon, a butterfly, a zebra, a zipper, a kettle, a key, etc. The pictures should not be labeled.  Corresponding to the pictures there are letter cards. For example, A, B, Z, K, etc. The teacher shows the children how to sort the pictures according to the letter they begin with. For example, airplane and ant with letter A, baboon, and butterfly with letter B, etc. 

Through this activity, children learn letters. It enhances their vocabulary as they learn new words. They associate the beginning sound of words with the letters.

phonic sorting

Animal Sorting

This activity will teach children about different categories of animals and their habitats. To teach children to sort animals the teacher should take a small dollhouse to represent house along with Two small sheets of styrofoam. On one styrofoam sheet put trees made from chart paper to make it look like a thick jungle. On the other styrofoam sheet, place artificial grass to make it look like a farm. 

Keep farm, pet and wild animals in the center. For example, dog, cow, lion, elephant, sheep, cat, etc. show each animal to the children. Tell them the young ones and the sound they make. The teacher sorts the animals according to where they are found. For example, a lion in the jungle, dog at home, sheep on the farm, etc.

This activity teaches children about the sounds, young ones, and where different animals live. They learn to sort the animals into a farm, pet, and wild animals.


Season Dressing

Through this activity, children learn what type of clothing is appropriate to wear according to the season. To prepare for this activity the teacher arranges for a raincoat, an umbrella, and gumboots that are needed during monsoon. Sweater, woolen cap, gloves, and jackets are required in the winter. Vests, shorts, sunglasses, and caps are needed during summer. All these are kept together in a big basket. 

The teacher puts up a cut out of the sun, a rain cloud, and snowflakes to show the 3 seasons. The children are shown each thing from the basket and then the teacher puts each item under the appropriate category. For example, sunglasses under the cut out of the sun, jacket under the snowflake, an umbrella under the rain cloud, etc. 

This will make the children aware of seasons and the different things needed and worn in each season. As an activity, the teacher can play a game called “Let’s play dress-up” with the children. The teacher shows the cut out of a season to the children, and the children have to pick the appropriate clothing from the basket and put it on.

season sorting

Color Sorting

The teacher has 3 differently colored baskets. For example, red, green, and yellow. The teacher arranges for picture cards with line drawings of things that correspond to the 3 colors. For example, rose, apple, cherries for red. Sunflower, sun, duck for yellow. Pear, leaf, avocado for green. The purpose of this activity is to teach children to sort the pictures and put them in the appropriately colored basket. She shows each picture to the children and puts it in the appropriate basket, explaining to the children why she is doing so. 

As an activity, the teacher can distribute the line drawings amongst the children. The children have to come up in front, say the name of the object and put it in the right color basket. This activity enhances the children’s knowledge about the colors of different things. It also gives them the confidence to speak up in class.

color sorting

Teaching preschool children to categorize things from a young age is important as it makes them aware of the different kinds of things around them. It makes them differentiate between living and non-living things. It makes them aware of the different classification of animals, vegetables, fruits and all other things in nature. It enhances their linguistic skills and their confidence too. Sorting or classifying things at the preschool level prepares them to understand that all things are different and have different characteristics.