Toddler Time: Simple Color Sorting

We’ve been casually working on our colors with Little Brother. Right now everything is “yellow”. Big Brother did the exact same thing, only everything was “blue”!

Sorting is an important concept for young children, though this is our first deliberate attempt with Little Brother. I wanted to keep the variables (colors) small since it’s an abstract concept for children to grasp in the first place.

Here’s what you’ll need:  2 pieces of different colored construction paper and various items in those colors.

1. Gather some items (of two different colors) from around the house. All I had to do was open my pantry door and get some items from our organized school/craft supplies!


2. Put all of the items together in a bowl.


3. Lay your 2 pieces of construction paper on the floor and let your child get started “sorting” the items and placing them on the corresponding color.


Heap on the praise!!!! You might have to do some modeling, especially if this is your first formal attempt at sorting. Little Brother absolutely LOVED it when I cheered and clapped for him…can you tell???


Little Brother was insistent that he only wanted one item on the paper at a time! :)

How do you teach your child about colors?


  1. Thank you for your blog. Due to some interesting circumstances, I have a 20 month old and his English language learning mama living with us {mama has lived with me for a few years} Since my youngest son is starting college next week, I have needed some refreshers about toddlers! Since mama was not sent to school in her home country, she is also benefiting from many of the games and ideas from your blog. I appreciate that many of the ideas you present are simple, low or no cost, and really fun.



    1. Liz, thank you so much for taking the time to write such an encouraging comment! I’m so glad that you and those living at your house are benefitting from it. :)

  2. I love color sorting games. I do a variety with my girls. Sometimes we sort swedish fish (some idea here, but with the fish and after we feast). And sometimes I pull out the twister game and the blocks and the girls sort all the blocks onto the game board. It’s a lot of fun! :)

  3. I have been considering working on colors with my son but wasn’t 100% sure at what age to start. Right now we are working on exposing the colors so we point them out and this week we are eating off of red plates. Next week it will be yellow. I went to the dollar store and bought simple disposable plates and bowls.

  4. I am sorry that you are getting negative comments on your blog. I have been an occasional visitor but have found the information very helpful and entertaining. Thank you. It is very sad that if people find something they don’t like they feel that they have to comment. Keep up your site. It is good. The color sort is a great easy idea that I plan to use soon!

  5. Hi there. I have just found your blog through Modern Parents Messy Kids and I am in love! What great activities you have! How old is your little man? I have a 19 month old girl and tonight we were playing and I was amazed to see that she was matching colours (putting the same colour ball in the same colour hole). Thought we might give this one a go? Thanks again. Sarah :)

  6. We did a similar variation of this. We have a few sets of the Leapfrog Fridge Phonics letters for the refrigerator. All of the letters are different colors, red, yellow, green, and blue. I put a piece of construction paper in each color on the fridge with a matching color letter magnet and told my 2 year old to put all the letters on their corresponding color. She loved it and was something that kept her busy in the kitchen while I was making dinner, with no mess to clean up! Thanks for the idea!

  7. Love this! Just found your blog today through a friend’s mention of it on facebook.

    We talk about colors ALL DAY LONG! It’s an easy topic to “teach” throughout all of our activities :) Last week I encouraged my son to sort his megablocks. I started 3 different towers- (red, yellow and blue) and would then hand him a megablock to add to the tower that matched the color I gave him. He loved it, and of course loved the cheers he got when he was right :)

  8. my favorite color activity is using plastic Easter Eggs…matching the 2 halves then matching the egg to a colored spot in the carton (I paint the bottom of the carton) (note it is pretty difficult to find RED easter eggs!)
    I also like to get some foam stickers and let them put them on the same color construction paper. I think the key is really just concentrating on 1 color at first (you know, the one they call everything) then introduce another ONE AT A TIME…wear a red shirt for 3 days, point out stop signs and the big balls in front of Target, etc…don’t even mention those “other” colors (that’s a great tip I learned at our teacher’s convention last year for all kids of things, like left and right, time, money, etc)

  9. I am so excited that I found your blog! I am a preschool teacher and I am always looking for fun ideas to change things up in my classroom! You have wonderful ideas and a beautiful website!

  10. I have a silly question. Did you use an orange bowl out of coincidence or because yellow and red make orange? I like this idea and want to try it, but I am not sure if the orange bowl is important!

    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *