Sorting! {and a little Give away!!}

Sorting is an activity that you can incorporate into your classroom tomorrow! You just need a few basic things to sort!  Through sorting, children realize that things are alike and different and can belong and be organized in different groups.
Sorting helps children begin to think logically about objects and mathematical concepts.  Depending on the type of sorts you do and the attributes the children are sorting the sort can be basic or challenging.
There are 2 types of sorts children can do:
One of the choices my kiddos can do when they finish their math centers is to grab a bucket and do some sorts.  They will usually team up with a partner and play “Guess my Sort.”  They LOVE this.  I’m amazed at how engaged they are when doing this and how they love to try to outsmart their partner!
Sometimes the kiddos will grab these plates to do their sorts on, other times they will just sort right on the carpet.
Here are some pictures of what is in the sorting buckets right now. 
IMG_2511  IMG_2512IMG_2513  IMG_2514IMG_2515  IMG_2516
What is great about sorting is that you can gather many different types of items (free or no cost!) for the children to sort.
You could sort:
  • buttons
  • keys
  • bottle caps
  • environmental print
  • letters
  • fonts
  • pens, markers, pencils
  • pattern blocks
  • shells
  • seeds
  • socks
  • shoes
  • beads
  • coins
  • stamps
  • nuts and bolts
  • rubber bands
  • noodles (dyed and not dyed)
  • pipe cleaners
  • rocks
  • leaves
Can you think of more!?!?
You don’t need any fancy sorting sheets – just let children do what they do best! EXPLORE!
Encourage children to engage in some “friendly controversy” and encourage them to DEFEND their sorts!  This will help them build their problem solving skills and also be confident in their sorting rules.
Here’s some more great ideas for sorting…
My sweet friend Anna, has some great ideas for teaching Attributes on her blog…
Crazy for First Grade
She has tons of great ideas! (and some free downloads!) Click on her banner above to go there.
Kathryn from Kindergarten, Kindergarten also has some AMAZING activities for sorts.
I LOVE her ball bucket!
and her mystery sorting box
Be sure to check {this post} as well for more ideas from Kathryn.
Lots of great ideas {here} as well!
Love these little people from Lakeshore!
and check out Cara’s blog
The First Grade Parade
for this awesome anchor chart and a free download of a sorting song!
My super smart friend Kim also has a few sorting ideas on her newly remodeled website.  Stop over and take a peek!KinderGals
One of the fun goodies in my baskets are these super fun attribute apples from Learning Resources:Product Image
With this bucket ‘o fun, children can sort and classify apples by 5 attributes, including size, color and physical features (stem, leaf, worm)
There are  27 apples and and an Activity Guide featuring suggested uses of Venn diagrams for higher-order thinking skills
The children love to sort these and try to challenge each other to “guess their sort!”
The apples are $21.99 and are available {here}
There are a TON of resources that children can use for sorting if you’re willing to spend a dollar or two :) Check out this link for more!
But, hold on to your wallet, Learning Resources wants to give away one of these Attribute apples to one lucky Growing Kinders reader! {Phew, thanks for hanging on until the end!}
Just enter in the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment about your favorite way to teach sorting and attributes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway You can find Learning Resources on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Youtube.


  1. We LOVE to sort. I've been eyeing these attribute apples for a while! I would add them to our math stations. They would be great for a "guess my sort" game because there are so many options! Thank you for the chance to win.

  2. My favorite attribute game lately has been "Guess My Shape". Every student chooses an attribute block and I call out the first attribute clue..."My shape is red." All students with a red shape stand up. Play continues...."My shape is thick." Students holding a thin shape sit back down. The clues continue until we are down to the last remaining shape. The kids LOVE this game!


    P.S. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

  3. I love to have the children play "Guess My Rule". Students take turns being the "teacher" and sort objects quietly while the rest of the class buddy up and discuss with their partner how they think the objects are being sorted.
    My kinders love playing this and I love to watch them interact and learn together. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

  4. Sorting is such a fun activity for Kinders, I love doing the open sort and seeing what the kids come up with. One memorable child once sorted some buttons into 'my favourite' / 'the rest' - made me smile

  5. I would love these attribute apples for my firsties! :)

  6. I love your sorting ideas. My kids get a bit bored of sorting the same thing over and over so I think I might incorporate some of your sorting baskets so the kids can make up their own mind.

    I love the ball sorting activity from Kathryn - I do it every year with my new kinders and they always love it!

    Lifelong Learners in Prep

  7. Perfect for a math center to continue practice sorting independently!

  8. I just posted some fun pics on my blog of a cute fossil sorting activity I do with my 2nd graders. I hide paper dinosaur bones all over my classroom and my kiddos turn into paleontologists & search for them! Once they find them all, they must sort them into bone groups then assemble each into a T. Rex skeleton. Love seeing their little minds at work! The apples are adorable, thank you for sharing this fun opportunity!
    Science for Kids Blog

  9. My pre-k students love sorting! This would be so much fun to add to our math and science centers. Plus we do a month long apple and pumpkin theme in the fall and I can thing of a long list of ways to use the apples for that!

    ~Diving Into Learning

  10. This is great...this post was wonderful! I would definitely be able to use these in my classroom to help my students with their sorting! Would love to have them in my room! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I would use them in a center. In the past I mostly used attribute blocks. The apples would be a really fun addition.

    Live Love Laugh and Teach!

  12. I will try to encourage more free sorting

  13. My kids love sorting!


  14. I always start my students on sorting when I teach my apple unit in the fall. We sort the apples first by color and then we discuss the other ways we can sort them. I eventually put objects to sort in a math center so they can practice! :)

    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

  15. I always ask sweet pea to tell me in her own words what her sorting rule is. It is amazing just how smart the little ones are.

  16. I have many boxes for sorting. I call them Treasure Boxes. The name comes from Math Their Way. We are now using our treasure boxes for counting. We group in sets of 10, count and record. The children were very surprised when we starting counting the treasures at the difference in amounts among them. "There are certainly a lot of button but not many dinosaurs."

  17. Thank you for a wonderful idea on what to create for early finishers!

  18. I think I got this idea from Cara Carroll at the First Grade Parade, but we play a sorting game once a week. I tell my class I'm going to sort them and they have to guess the ways. They love it and I'm always trying to think of new ways to sort them.

  19. I love anything from Learning Resources so these apple sorts will be a great addition to our math stations!

  20. What a great giveaway! I would use these initially as a hands-on intro do sorting and then set it up as a math station. I would also use it for patterning. looks like a lot of fun!
    grace2u {at} rogers {dot} com

  21. I would love to use those wonderful sorting ideas! I am hoping to be back in kindergarten next year... I keep finding wonderful ideas on your site and long for those kinder days! Keep up the great work!

  22. I love to do free sorts during math stations. I have a tool chest full of the stuff for them to pick from. I would love to add these cute apples!
    Polka Dot Kinders

  23. I love the idea of having sorting buckets! That would be a great addition to my math centers.

    Lovin’ Kindergarten

  24. I would use these ideas for one or more of my math tub rotations! Awesome ideas and not much prep work! The kids will love it. Thanks for sharing!


  25. I love that sorting anchor chart! Too cute! I focus on open sorts. I love getting to see the creativity that the children will use to sort.

  26. Great sorting ideas! I love the sorting buckets. Thank you for sharing =) Hope you have a great weekend!


  27. My K4 class loves to sort, and often do it during their play time. OF course sorting can be play and it is always fun to see them use the different classroom materials in this neat mathematical way. I love your big sorting buckets, I think I might have to incorporate that into my program as well. We use our weekly show and tell time to work on sorting too. Thanks for all the great ideas and links.

  28. My first graders sort based on one and then two or three attributes. They can get very creative with their sorting. We also love to do patterns based on more than one attribute.

  29. I will use these to sort of course!! They look adorable! If they are from Lakeshore they must be amazing!


  30. I am thinking I don't do enough sorting, at least not at a higher level of thinking. And I don't think I do it often enough. We really haven't done any for a long time. But I love the idea of having the sorting buckets as an I am finished activity for math. I bet I could come up with some Dr. Seuss themed sorts for our reading week next week. Thanks for the great ideas!!

    Terri Izatt

    PS thanks for the links to the other great sorting sites. Love the anchor chart and song from Cara.

  31. You have so many great ideas! Thanks for sharing them! I love sorting using pom poms, holiday erasers, blocks, legos... it is endless! These would be so great as a Math Center! :)
    Crayons and Curls

  32. These are so cute! This would be a great addition to math centers...Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  33. Since our sorting unit is in the fall, the apples would be appropriate!

  34. Since our sorting unit is in the fall, the apples would be appropriate!

  35. I would love to have a sorting bucket!!! what a great idea! These would be great for a morning brain break bucket!

  36. Hi Katleen,
    I have sorting as a center as well. The little ones sort dinosaurs, teddy bears, plastic critters, buttons, pattern blocks, playing cards, etc. They love it.
    P.s. I am having problems posting my comment. I apologize if for some reason you see this posted two other times. Yikes.

  37. This is a great post about sorting! I love all of the ideas and I can't wait to look into them more. Thanks for the great giveaway!


  38. We love to sort and this would be a great addition to a math center. We also like to use Frog Street's "Sorting and Patterning" songs with this unit.

    Heather (

    1. Make Money online from home without investment, Just Register and click the ads and earn upto 10 Dollars Daily, The best and Legimate Earning Sites Ever you want

  39. We introduce sorting games at the beginning of the school year. To get things going I have the children bring in a favorite teddy bear to help them transition to school. The bears spend the entire week with us. One of the activities that we do with the bears is to think of different ways that we can sort them.

    Love the sorting baskets!! Thanks for the chance to win.
    Stacey White

  40. We love to play the guessing game! Guess how the manipulatives are sorted. The one who guesses correctly gets to sort how he or she wants. :). Usually completed in small groups


  41. I love to start sorting with pictures of the students when I teach Julie Lee's All About Me unit...they are so engaged and they looove looking at pictures of themselves. We also sort our shoes by color, size, laces vs. velcro. The chaos that ensues from everybody taking off their shoes is pretty enjoyable!!!

  42. I would love these to use for "Guess my...." (depends on the day)! My kiddos would love a new sorting game! :)


  43. I love letting the kids just find their own categories. Its so neat to see what they come up with! Thanks for the great giveaway! :0)

    - jennifer

  44. I would love the apple bucket!

  45. I love to use junk boxes for sorting!

  46. I love open sorting. I would also use them for teaching odd/even, as we have that coming up.

  47. My students love open sorting. They would love to use these fun manipulatives!

    A is for Apple B is for Blog

  48. Thanks for all the great sorting ideas. Sorting a group of objects such as buttons is always fun. We sort them using various attributes such as shape, colour, size and number of holes :)

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