Apple Color Sorting
With some sensory bins, I set them up at night so that they are ready to go for Joy to explore in the morning. Others, like this one, provide a wonderful opportunity to include your child in the set-up process! Children are natural born learners and explorers. They are always asking questions because they want answers. What better way to teach than hand-on? Sure, you can set this up faster without them. However, providing the time to sit and be patient as they learn is far more enriching to their education.
Offer your child to help press the dot stickers on the apple trees—It’s a great way to strengthen those little fingers (the pincer grip), which they will need to begin writing. You and your child can also count out ten pom-poms for each color—A playful way to practice math skills! In teaching your child an early love of learning, it’s important to remember that preschool math activities should be fun.
Now, lets talk about the mess… Rice will get on the floor and that’s okay! It’s actually another perfect opportunity to teach self-help skills like sweeping, and even using the dust buster if you have one. Because Joy was scared of the noise the dust buster made, we only just started using it. Prior to her newfound obsession with using the dust buster, we practiced sweeping the rice and pouring the dustpan into the trash. Did she do it correctly right away? Nope! These skills, like many things in life, are a learning process. At home, we have the time to allow our children to practice without pressure. There were many times where Joy would sweep and accidentally spill the dustpan on her walk over to the trash.
I recently began offering Joy a chance to pour the rice—or whatever the sensory material is—into the bin as part of the set-up process. Usually I have the materials stored in large Ziploc bags, but to set her up for success I provide her with a scooper, or I transfer the materials into a sturdy Tupperware container that she can easily maneuver. Make learning playful! “I wonder how many scoops it will take to fill the bin?” This DIY Apple Color Sorting project is yet another way to incorporate math skills.
- Dyed rice (one or two shades of green; your choice!)
- Green construction paper
- Green, red, and yellow dot stickers
- Three toilet paper rolls
- Green, red, and yellow pom-poms
- Cut the green construction paper in the shape of apple trees (the bubble kind, not pine trees).
- Press a few green dot stickers on one tree and repeat with yellow and red dot stickers.
- Cut two slits on either side of the bottom of the green tree, and stick it inside the toilet paper roll. Secure it with tape.
- Set up the green rice in the sensory bin and place the “apple trees” in, spreading them out.
- Scatter red, green, and yellow pom-poms inside the sensory bin.
- Lay out tongs (or clothespins if you don’t have tongs) and see what happens!
- You can also set out scoopers and small-recycled containers to fill. I like to use old bubble bottles or the small on-the-side sauce containers you get with take out.
Tips with Miss Charlotte
To get your child interested in preschool math activities like this one, you can let them choose their own colors/fruit!
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