Sorting Loose Parts Activity for Pre-K & Kindergarten

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Sorting is an important skill that we work on a lot in Pre-K and Kindergarten! This Sorting Loose Parts Activity is a great way to gather information about how your students sort various items and can be prepped in no time at all. So gather those loose parts (who doesn’t have a drawer or closet full of them?!) and get ready to engage in tons of hands-on learning fun with your students!

*Pair with our Play and Learn with Manipulatives BUNDLE for Pre-K & Kindergarten!

This Sorting Loose Parts Activity is a great way to see how your students sort various items and can be prepped in no time at all!

Sorting Loose Parts Activity

My favorite thing about this activity is how versatile and easy it is. This game can be played with any small items that you have on hand (keep in mind the age of your kids and any choking hazards)! Some of our favorite items to use are pom poms, buttons, crayons, and cubes.

Gather your items and a small container for each student and you are ready to play!

How to Play

For this activity, I like to add a mixture of our various loose parts into small bowls for each child. They love having their very own set of items to sort and play with!

For this activity, I add a mixture of our various loose parts into small bowls for each child.

To play, you will begin by just giving the bowls of loose parts to your students for them to explore. This provides great information for you as you observe them to see which kids naturally start to sort and organize the items.

Next, you can ask the students to officially begin sorting. Keep in mind they may not know what this means. So you may need to say things like, “Can you organize your items?” or “Can you put the ones that go together in the same place?”

Allow students to explore the loose parts before sorting.

RELATED RESOURCE: Roll and Color Math Games for the Year

Teacher Tip: Strengthen fine motor muscles in addition to sorting skills by giving students jumbo tweezers to pick up items.

The initial purpose of this activity is NOT to “fix” anything but just observe. You may find that some children don’t know how to sort yet. Others may sort by color only, while some sort by more than one attribute (color and type of object).

After observing, you can also ask, “Can you try it a different way?”

Some students will naturally start to sort and organize the loose parts they are given by color.

Providing time for students to explore and sort on their own gives you great insight to then use this Sorting Loose Parts Activity again in your small groups later on. This creates the perfect opportunity to extend the learning based on what each child needs!

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The Kindergarten Connection
Sorting Loose Parts Activity for Pre-K & Kindergarten
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