This week, the educatall.com team has prepared a wide range of games and activities that will help children learn how to sort and clean up. These games can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors, per your needs.
Illustrated circle time poster
(Open word flashcards-I am learning to sort) (Open picture game-I am learning to sort) Print several images linked to the theme and glue them on a large piece of colorful cardboard. Laminate you newly created poster and use it during circle time to present various thematic items to your group. Hand each child a dry-erase marker. During circle time, when a child identifies an item illustrated on your poster, let him circle it using his marker. This activity will help younger children visualize what you are talking about.
(Open word flashcards-I am learning to sort) (Open giant word flashcards-I am learning to sort) Print and laminate the word flashcards. Have each child print a word flashcard. Children take turns presenting the word they picked (ex. filing cabinet) to the rest of the group. Ask children questions and talk about each item.
This week, pay special attention to how things are stored and sorted. Throughout the theme, make a point of keeping things extra tidy or, just the opposite, completely disorganized.
Thematic poster-I am learning to sort
(Open thematic poster-I am learning to sort) Print, laminate, and display the poster where everyone can see it.
Educa-theme-I am learning to sort
(Open educa-theme-I am learning to sort) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the items to decorate the walls of your daycare to set the mood for the theme.
Educa-decorate-I am learning to sort
(Open educa-decorate-I am learning to sort) Print, cut out, and laminate. Decorate the walls of your daycare and hang decorations from the ceiling to set the mood for the theme.
Diploma-I am learning to sort
(Open diploma-I am learning to sort) Print for each child. At the end of the theme, reward children with a diploma.
Simple tricks to make sorting and cleaning up easier :
- Name a cleanup inspector who will be responsible for checking that toys are all put away in the correct place.
- Be sure to identify bins with pictures or images that will help children (and replacement early childhood educators) know which items belong where.
- Make sure your bins are the right size, per their contents.
- Create a “lost toys” bin and set any stray toys and items you find in it each day. At the end of the day or week, ask children to help you find where each item belongs.
- Store certain items on your daycare walls. For example, shoe dividers can be used to store a wide range of small items. You can also use one pocket to store the personal belongings of each child in your group.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner.
(Open picture game-I am learning to sort) Print, laminate, and store in a “Ziploc” bag or in your thematic bins.
Memory game-I am learning to sort
(Open picture game-I am learning to sort) Print the pictures twice and use them for a traditional memory game.
WORD FLASHCARDS-I AM LEARNING TO SORT
Use the flashcards to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing corner, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-I am learning to sort) (Open giant word flashcards-I am learning to sort) filing cabinet, drawer, bag, to put away, to sort, to organize, cupboard, box, to classify, shelf, label, chest
Activity sheets are provided for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheets-I am learning to sort)
(Open writing activities-S like sort) Print for each child or laminate and use with a dry-erase marker.
I AM LEARNING TO SORT NUMBERS AND WORDS
I am learning to sort numbers
(Open I am learning to sort-Numbers) Print and laminate. Cut out the numbers that are on the first page. Children must arrange the numbers in the correct boxes to sort them.
(Open sorting words) Print several word flashcards and glue them on colorful construction paper before laminating them. Arrange the sheets in a binder. Show children how they can trace the words using dry-erase markers. If you wish, leave a space under each word flashcard so that children have room to try to write the words on their own. Invite them to sort the sheets per color or per different categories.
You will need 26 empty boxes (tissue boxes for example). Write a different letter of the alphabet on each one. Provide word flashcards or small items and have children sort them by dropping them in the box corresponding to the first letter of each word.
(Open task train) Print, laminate, and cut out the various parts. Display the train in your circle time area. To distribute daily tasks, you can arrange pictograms representing the children in your group on the floor and pick one pictogram at a time. The child it belongs to can pick the task he wishes to be responsible for. Another method is to arrange pictograms representing the various tasks that must be done on the floor and picking them one by one. Children who are interested in each task can raise their hand. Pick a child for each task. You could also pass a ball around the circle and when the music stops, the child holding the ball can pick a task.
GAMES-I AM LEARNING TO SORT
Set an assortment of glass jars on the table, making sure each jar is a different size. The goal of this activity is for children to find the correct lid for each jar. This is a great way to foster sorting skills. With older children, you can add one or more lids that don’t belong to any of the jars to make the activity more challenging.
I observe, I sort, I compare
Set several different puppets on a table. To begin, encourage children to manipulate and observe the puppets closely. From there, ask them to sort the puppets per different instructions (from smallest to biggest, by color, by category, etc.). You can also ask children to identify differences.
At the end of free play periods, ask children to stop what they are doing. Count down from 10 before saying “go!”. Children must race to put everything in the right place. Time them and write the result on a board. Next time children need to clean up daycare toys, invite them to try to beat their record.
Give each child a plastic bag with handles. Have each child fill his bag with toys that are on the floor. Once their bag is full, ask them to put everything in the right place.
Sorting by color
Encourage children to sort toys by color.
Counting as we sort
Have each child put 5 toys away, then 4 toys, and so on. You won’t believe how quickly children will complete cleanup.
Singing as we sort
Play a song and tell children that everything must be sorted and put away before the song ends.
I am learning to sort quickly
Arrange all the toys that children were playing with in the center of your daycare. When you give the signal, children must collect as many toys as they can hold in their arms and put them in the correct place. When they are done, they return to the circle to grab more toys. Continue until all the toys have been sorted and put away in the correct place.
Sorting with quantities
Write numbers 1 to 10 on empty toilet paper rolls. Have children insert the correct number of paperclips in each tube, per the number written on them.
Creating a felt board
Glue 4 pieces of black felt on a large piece of cardboard and display it on a wall. With children’s help, trace and cut a variety of shapes out of colorful felt pieces. The shapes will stick to your felt board. Let children explore the shapes. They will have fun sorting them per shape or color. (Open geometric shapes)
I am learning to sort
Provide scissors and strips of paper measuring 2 to 3 cm. Have children cut the strips of paper into tiny pieces. When they are done, have them sort the pieces of paper by color.
You will need a large vinyl tablecloth. Using a permanent marker and stencils, trace the 26 letters of the alphabet. Encourage children to sort foam letters, arranging them next to the corresponding letter on your tablecloth.
(Open sorting search) Print and laminate. Hide the pictures throughout your daycare. Ask children to search for the pictures. Every time a child finds a picture, he must set it on the table. Once children have found all 12 pictures, have them sort them by size.
From smallest to biggest-I am learning to sort
(Open big and small-I am learning to sort) Print and laminate the game. Children must arrange the cards in the squares in the correct order, from smallest to biggest. Use Velcro or adhesive putty to press them in the squares.
Muffin tin sorting
Use muffin tins to sort marbles. Each section could, for example, contain marbles of a specific color or size.
From smallest to biggest
Provide sets of different items cut into pieces of varying sizes and have children arrange them from smallest to biggest. Interesting choices are drinking straws, crayons, pipe cleaners, construction paper strips, etc.
Educ-pattern-I am learning to sort
(Open educ-pattern-I am learning to sort) Print and laminate the game. Children must sort the cards to complete each pattern.
String activities-I am learning to sort
(Open string activities-I am learning to sort) Print for each child. Have them trace the lines using white glue and position pieces of string on them. During this activity, you may encourage children to sort pieces of string by color.
Lacing and sorting shapes
Trace several different shapes on colorful construction paper. Laminate and cut them out. Punch holes all the way around each shape so that children can lace each shape with ribbon of the corresponding color. When they are done, they can sort the shapes by color.
Homemade puzzles to sort
Give each child a coloring page. Once they have finished coloring, cut each picture into several pieces to create puzzles and set them all in a large bowl. Children can sort the pieces to find which ones belong together. When they are done, invite them to assemble the puzzles.
Tracing and sorting shapes
Trace several simple shapes (squares, circles, triangles) on construction paper with your group. To begin, draw very large shapes and then draw several identical shapes that are smaller. Have children cut out the shapes and sort them per color and size.
Sorting by color
Give children a pile of blocks and have them sort them by color and then by size.
Pick up card game
Sit in a circle with your group. Hold a deck of cards in your hands and ask children if they want to play “Pick up 52”. As they respond, toss the cards up in the air. Children race to pick up as many cards as possible. Once all the cards have been picked up, invite children to sort them (hearts, spades, diamonds, clubs).
Let’s sort anything and everything
Have fun sorting items in your daycare per their shape, color, size, material, use, etc. Set several boxes on the floor and glue a picture on each one to help children recognize the different categories.
Upside down world
Divide your group into two teams. Ask one team to leave the room. The other team must pick 5 items and place them upside down or misplace them. For example, they could set a cushion on the floor, hang a poster upside down, set a doll upside down on a chair, etc. When the first team re-enters the room, they must identify the items that have been moved or modified.
I am sure that you have a Tupperware cupboard that could use some sorting. Invite children to sort the containers and lids before re-organizing your cupboard contents.
I am sorting pairs
Collect several sets of different items (examples: 2 socks, 2 clothespins, 2 buttons, 2 mittens, 2 forks, 2 crayons, etc.). Set all the items in a box and invite children to find pairs. This is a simple sorting exercise for younger children.
ARTS & CRAFTS-I AM LEARNING TO SORT
Mandalas-I am learning to sort
(Open mandalas-I am learning to sort) Print for each child. Invite children to color the mandalas with the colors of their choice.
Crumpled paper sorting
(Open models-I am learning to sort) Print for each child. Have children crumple pieces of tissue paper and sort them by dividing them among several bowls per their color. When they are done, they can use the crumpled paper to fill the shape they prefer.
Order and sequences
Provide a variety of arts & crafts materials (feathers, pasta, buttons, scrap paper, stickers, etc.). Encourage children to use the items provided to create a collage, sorting them from smallest to biggest.
Blindfold children and invite them to draw or color a picture.
Coloring pages theme-I am learning to sort
(Open coloring pages theme-I am learing to sort) Print for each child.
SONGS & RHYMES
I can sort
(Open songs & rhymes-I can sort) Print.
By: Patricia Morrison Sung to: Skidamarink
When my daycare is a mess
Morning or afternoon
I can sort
I put things in the right place
I put them all away
They’ll be there next time I play
Easy to find, hip, hip, hooray
When my daycare is a mess
Morning or afternoon
I can sort
The educatall team