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My son loves naming colors, but he struggles with sorting (a math skill that requires flexibility, which is hard to come by in a kiddo less than 3). This Search & Sort Colors activity was perfect for him practicing his flexibility, reviewing his colors, starting to learn the spelling of colors, and getting some good exercise too!
Search & Sort Color Activity
I started with just writing each color name on construction paper in big letters. I spread the pages throughout the living room and told him we were going to play Hide and Seek with the colors. (He’s not quite old enough to know what a scavenger hunt is.) He immediately ran to his favorite toy… the letters from his Elmo ABC puzzle.
At first, he started organizing them by color. (GREAT!)
But then he really wanted to put a few letters with the color NAME that contained the same letter (the blue ‘G’ with the Green paper). Half of his letters were organized by color, and the other half were organized by letter. After a few different attempts at mom-splaining the game, I convinced him that the letters would have more fun if they were all together and wearing matching “clothes” as their friends. (Hey, whatever works, right?)
After he finished with sorting his letters, I convinced him we should find some other toys for the other colors. I had to help him with a few. We really struggled to find things that were brown and black. He was really clever and found some black shoes and a book about space with a black cover! For brown, we found a train that was mostly brown, and I helped him out with a fridge magnet made of wood.
I was surprised at how much easier it was for him to find toys in his favorite colors than in those he doesn’t prefer as much. It was like he had blinders on and couldn’t see 5 yellow toys right in front of him! This is definitely good practice for noticing things in the environment.
Variations of thiS Activity
For kiddos who haven’t learned colors yet, there’s an easy adjustment you can make to this activity. I would recommend just having the colored paper with no words on it and putting a small pile of toys to sort from instead of searching throughout the house. Too many elements at once can be cognitively overwhelming. You don’t want your kiddo to space out or feel defeated and give up!