Sorting Objects

Sorting activities are an important precursor to counting and understanding what comes next. Children should learn to distinguish objects and sort them in various ways. We've got plenty of ideas below, as well as some printable activities to explore with your children.

This page and resources support the White Rose Maths Autumn Term Block 1 Place Value small step, Sort Objects.

Sorting Activities

  • Manipulatives: Provide plenty of different objects for children to play with and sort, such as counters or lego pieces.
  • Different ways to sort: Sort objects by colour, size, shape, type. Point out the different ways that objects can be sorted.
  • Making lines:  Encourage children to line the objects up as they sort them, as a first step towards bar models in future.
  • Vocabulary: How are these objects the same? How are they different? Can you sort them into groups? How have you grouped these objects? Are there different ways to group these objects?
  • Finding mistakes: Sort some objects yourself but make a mistake. Can the children find the mistake and correct it?
  • Sort with a partner: Put a selection of objects between a pair or small group of children and ask them to think about how they would group them, without moving the objects. Now ask one child to group the objects and explain their groupings. Would the other children have done it differently? Alternatively, ask one child to group the objects and the other children to guess their reasoning.

Sorting Resources

First Sorting Workbook

First Sorting Workbook

There are 4 pages of colourful sorting funis workbook, which takes children from simple sorting by colour through to more complicated sorting decisions - important skills to master.

Shape and Colour Sorting Game

Shape and Colour Sorting Game

This shape and colour sorting game can be used to familiarise children with sorting by shape and by colour, practising the language of sorting and the logic of the grid as you go.

Sorting into Groups 1

Sorting into Groups 1

This simple activity provides a set of little cards for the children to cut out and sort into 2 groups. They might choose to sort by colour or by shape. When they have sorted the cards, ask them to explain how they sorted them and see if they can spot another way to do it.

Sorting into Groups 2

Sorting into Groups 2

Cut out the 12 cards and then ask your child to sort them into groups. They might choose to put all the black and white and colour cards into separate groups, or sort by dogs and cats.

Sorting into Groups 3

Sorting into Groups 3

This is a more challenging sorting activity. There are 4 different shapes - squares, triangles, circles and stars - in 4 different colours. Most of the shapes are solid colour but some are outlines. 4 of the shapes are big and the others are small.

More Sorting

We have many more sorting activities here at Activity Village - mainly sorting by size or sorting by colour, and with lots of different themes to interest the kids.

Sorting Activities
Sorting Activities

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