Monday, March 5, 2007

Task B5 - Sorting Non-Identical Items

Egg cartons or muffin tins are a great tool for this task.
  • Collect an assortment of buttons in different colors and shapes. Pick one up; name its color, and give it to your child. Ask him or her to find all the other buttons of the same color. Do this for all six colors. Original source:
  • Let your child help sort clothes for the wash (Colors, whites, permanent press) or fold clothes and group them according to family member.
  • Talk about the clothes you wear outside in the winter when it is cold and the summer when it is warm. Have the children create a summer scene on half of the paper and a winter scene on the other half. Original source:
  • Try drawing a floor plan of the house on a large piece of paper, then discussing what goes in each room and matching pictures to the correct rooms.
  • Unique sorting trays - Go to:
  • Sorting "Alphabits" Cereal - Go to:
  • Fabric Print Sort - Go to:
The ideas below are from

  • Provide the students with a box filled with plastic silverware (knives, forks, and spoons). Place three large plastic glasses in front of the box. Instruct the students to place all forks in one glass, all spoons in one glass, and all the knives in another.
  • Provide the students with 25 pennies, 25 nickels, 25 dimes, 25 quarters and four containers. Instruct the students to sort coins into separate containers according to type.
  • Provide the students with a box of different types of beads and five different strings. Place a different type of bead on each string. Instruct the students to look through the box and find beads that match the ones placed on the strings. As beads are located, have the students string them to make necklaces.
  • Provide the students with a big box of mixed crayons. Ask them to sort the crayons by colors and place them in empty boxes labeled for each color.
  • Provide the students with a box of assorted colored socks. Have them sort in pairs by matching colors.
  • Provide plastic clothespins and cups of assorted colors. Place all of the clothespins in a large container and place one of each of the colored cups in front of each student. Instruct the students to match colors by clipping a clothespin to a corresponding cup.
  • Have the students sort colored paper clips or rubber bands.
  • Provide the students with mixed packages of construction paper and have them sort sheets according to color.
  • Place a shape box/ball in front of the students (these toys usually require triangles, circles, or squares to be pushed through holes of the same shape.) Mix up the shapes that go into the box/ball and place them in a stack in front of the students. Tell the students to push the shapes through the appropriate shape holes into the box/ball.
  • Provide each student with one-half cup of each of the following items: kidney beans, pinto beans, elbow macaroni, shell macaroni, popcorn, etc. Have the students sort items into separate containers.
  • Have the students sort cookie cutters according to shape.
  • Get one pound each of different six-penny nails from a hardware store. Mix them together and place them in the middle of the table. Tell the students to sort the nails and put them back into their original boxes.
  • Give the students a bowl full of various size paper clips. Place the appropriate number of plastic baggies in front of the students and tell them to put a different size of clip into each and then continue sorting the clips this way until the bowl is empty.
  • Provide the students with various sizes of plates or glasses. Instruct them to sort by size.
  • Have the students sort letter size and legal size envelopes into two separate stacks.
If you have an idea for this task that you would like to share, please Email Me at or add a Comment. Thank you!

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