Babies Walkers 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Sorting is an important skill for preschool aged children to learn and practice. You may have noticed that your toddler or preschooler has a natural tendency to sort and they do. Sorting is a way to organize and make sense of their environment. Activities like these provide concrete objects for your child to sort and organize concepts.

This grouping impulse is not only adorable, it’s also an important developmental milestone. Between 18 and 30 months, toddlers begin to understand that objects, people, and animals all have different properties

Equipment required

  • Picture cards or objects to sort

Link to resources

Training Videos

Sorting And Matching Intro-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Sorting And Matching Intro-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Sort It Out-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.


  • Two to three weeks

How it works

Children have to sort objects based on physical properties or types – colours, textures, use etc.

What to do in the class

You can do 2 versions of this activity. The first uses picture cards which children have to sort into 2 different groups. The other uses real objects which you bring in for the children to sort into 2 different groups depending on their physical properties.

Place a container or mat in the middle of the room with all the pictures or objects in/on. Now put out 2 more empty containers on either side of the room – one for each of the properties the children have to look for. Explain that the children and parents need to take an object or card, have a look at it and then decide which container they need to put it in. Have lots of copies of the pictures or put the objects in the middle of the room.

Picture Cards

There are 2 files for this activity. You can use either the first which contains pictures of animals and modes of transport or the second which contains pictures of food and clothing.

Real objects

Choose objects which have 2 contrasting properties. e.g

  • Metal/Paper
  • Plastic/Fabric
  • Soft /hard
  • white /black/ coloured

Adaptation for older/younger children

Use very simple concepts for younger children if using object– for example sort the lego bricks from the soft toys, black and white and perhaps animals and transport.

What to do in a nursery setting

No adaptation is necessary


You could build a short obstacle course leading to each side of the room to that the child goes through that when sorting their objects. This would add more physicality to the activity.