Introducing a Sorting Tray

A great way to teach your preschoolers about sorting is to provide them with a 'sorting tray'. This tool is simple to construct, but gets great results! All you need is a large plastic sectioned serving tray from your local craft supply store, as well as, a list of themes and objects. Themes

  • Colors: Designate a color for each tray section, placing a piece of colored construction paper at the bottom of each segment to assist your students in matching objects. In the center, place objects of assorted colors. These objects could be assorted buttons, craft pom poms, erasers, etc. and encourage your students to sort based on color.
  • Numbers: Assign a number to each tray section, labeling each segment with construction paper numbers, stickers, etc. so that students know how many objects to put in each. Fill the center section with various objects and have students count out the correct number of items to fill each segment.
  • Alphabet: This will take several trays, but can be well worth the effort. Assign a letter to every section. In the middle of each tray, place laminated pictures of objects that start with the letters found on that tray. For example, on the tray containing letters A through F place pictures of the following: apple, airplane, baseball, bee, cat, candy, dog, duck, elephant, ear, fish, frog, etc. Have the children sort each tray in succession, mix them up, or find your own combination.

Little Family Fun: Sorting Tray - Buttons