At CEFA Early Learning schools, we teach children attributes as part of our S.T.E.M. program, and one of the ways we do it is using sorting games like this one, which sorts according to colour.

Sorting is a foundational math skill and is very important to learn, as it helps children describe things and then compare, using attributes (like colour, size, shape, etc.). We use sorting games all year long, and in every grade. They get more and more complex as children gain sorting skills, and are more descriptive in their attributes.

This is a fun activity that your child can play on their own, and is appeals to many of your child’s senses, including smell and taste! I use skewers and play dough to stick the skewers onto, but you can use Styrofoam instead of play dough (or anything that you can pierce a skewer into, like a banana) and also, for an added level of fine motor skills, try using uncooked spaghetti instead of skewers. Because the spaghetti is more fragile, children will have to be extra delicate lacing their Froot loops through, which makes it a more complex fine motor activity.

Best Ages for This Activity

One to four

How to Make It

You will need

Let’s get started

  • Place the froot loops to be sorted in a container or bowl
  • Dig the skewers (one for each colour of froot loops) into the play dough
  • Place one froot loops cereal of each colour in each skewer
  • Invite your child to play a sorting game and begin playing together until your child understands what to do on their own. You can say “blue goes with blue… yellow goes with yellow…” as you sort for your child to understand that they are sorting by colour
  • Once you finish, you can count how many of each colour you found if you like

Learning Opportunities

Children will learn S.T.E.M., especially in the area of mathematics. While you play with your child, encourage your child to describe why they are sorting the objects in that specific manner (in this case, by colour).  (example, by colour, by type, etc. you can also invite your child to sort using different attributes during play, or simply by setting up the objects differently (some examples below).

In this game, the greatest learning opportunities are in reasoning (which objects go where and why) and use of mathematical vocabulary.

This activity also encourages your child to focus and stay on one task (increases attention span) which contributes to your child’s social and emotional development.

Sorting Books Your Child Might Like

In order to truly understand these concepts, it is always best for your children to have as many hands-on activities and manipulatives as possible. For sorting, an activity that they can touch, feel and play with is so much better than a worksheet or book. If your child really has a passion for sorting, however, or if you need an activity that is educational but does not require as much supervision, then books and workbooks can be fun! Plus, it really depends on your child. Some children love working on workbooks (I was one of them) and can find them entertaining for hours on end, while others prefer real objects. Whatever your child’s preference may be, make sure you always provide manipulatives (rather than only workbooks or activities on paper). Trust me on this one.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases