While in the midst of homeschooling my older two, I have to balance the time my preschool aged twins need to learn too! Activities that support learning in multiple age groups are a key. I like simple learning activities that are perfect for my 3 years olds and build on big concepts like this button sorting and classification activity for young children.
The preschool age is so interesting and fun to teach! It’s my favorite. Lessons are always open-ended because preschoolers have minds that expand on any learning.
I recently received a fun activity idea from the folks at Education.com. Before I shared it with you, I wanted to try it with my own children. This activity works with multiple age groups too. Here is how it went.
Sorting and Classification Activity for Young Children
Grade Level: preschool to 1st grade
Type: General Science
Idea contributed by: Education.com, activity completed by my actual kids. 🙂
This sorting and classification activity will encourage children to practice and refine sorting and classification skills essential to scientific research.
Materials: A large variety of buttons. Alternatively (especially with the youngest children) you may use a variety of breakfast cereals which provides the added appeal of being safe and edible.
We always have a bag of random buttons, so you may not even have to buy any supplies to complete this activity.
To do the sorting and classification activity:
Using a variety of buttons (the older the scientist, the more buttons are appropriate), sort them into sets.
Key questions to ask your child after you provide them with an assortment of buttons:
Can you sort the buttons into groups?
What do the buttons in each group have in common?
Can you sort them into smaller groups?
Can you sort them in other ways?
Sorting and classification are important skills for a scientist (think Periodic Table of Elements & Taxonomic Hierarchy).
If possible, sort each set into subsets.
Resort the buttons in a different way.
This project encourages children to practice and refine these skills. Keep a list handy for older children to record all the different ways they’ve invented to sort and classify.
It was interesting to watch the twins create their groups for sorting based on color. They did not want to re-sort based on any other detail. Older children will be more aware of multiple characteristics to re-sort the buttons, so this is a great activity to do with mixed age groups.
Got school age kids? The school age kids activities page is a great resource.
Education.com aims to empower parents, teachers, and homeschoolers to help their children build essential skills and excel. With over 12 million members, Education.com provides educators of all kinds with high-quality learning resources, including worksheets, lesson plans, digital games, an online guided learning platform, and more.