Sorting Worksheets

Learning the process of sorting begins in Kindergarten. Once students reach the High School level sorting takes on a whole new meaning. We start working on multidimensional sorting and Biological classification at the upper grade levels. These worksheets are aimed at honing these skills.

  1. Double Layer Worksheet Template
  2. Jelly Bean Graph
  3. Jelly Bean Record Page
  4. Jelly Bean Sort Worksheet
  5. Sorting Into Three Groups Worksheet Template
  6. Two Groups Template
  7. Two Groups of Two Template
  8. Three Groups - Animals
  9. Three Groups - Colors
  10. Three Groups - Numbers
  11. Three Groups - Places
  12. Three Groups - Transportation
  13. Two Groups - Animals
  14. Two Groups - Colors
  15. Two Groups - Numbers
  16. Two Groups - Places
  17. Two Groups - Transportation
  18. Two Groups of Two - Animals
  19. Two Groups of Two - Colors
  20. Two Groups of Two - Numbers
  21. Two Groups of Two - Places
  22. Two Groups of Two - Transportation

Sorting and Classifying Teacher Resources

  1. Battle of the Spheres
  2. Graphic Organizer Theme
  3. Scientific Method Lesson Plans
  4. Scientific Method Teaching Theme
  5. Scientific Method Outline
  6. Steps of the Scientific Method

Why Sorting and Classifying Skills Are Important?

Do you ever witness your children sorting objects on their own? Many children enjoy sorting activities, and they naturally arrange their items based on what they notice without any instruction as to how to do so.

ften, this essential prerequisite to understanding math is overlooked or dismissed as something children instinctively do when playing. Even so, it is a crucial first step in learning how to do math and essential to a child's education.

Mathematical learning comes instinctively to young children when they come in contact with everything that surrounds them. Most children are more inclined toward understanding things that are around them. In an attempt to gain a deeper understanding, these kids sort and classify things into groups.

Here we'll further explain the importance of sorting and classifying skills. We'll also shed some light on how you can teach children to sort and classify objects around them.

What is Sorting?

The process of sorting refers to placing various items into some order. For instance, you can sort words alphabetically or based on their length. Sorting algorithms are efficient when there are a lot of items to be processed.

The Importance of Sorting

We need to have a sense of control over the world around us. By creating order, we are attempting to achieve to gain an understanding of our surroundings. It is due to this reason that many children naturally gravitate toward sorting objects without much instruction or prompting. Others, however, may need a little help in getting started.

Regardless of how it is being approached, sorting is a fundamental skill that substantially contributes to developing other skills.

Sorting objects teaches children that some objects are the same while others are different. As they begin grouping items based on various features, they realize that it's possible to classify a single item based on multiple factors.

A visual analysis of an item, its characteristics, and its placement among similar items forms the basis of logical thinking. It is then possible to apply this skill to both math concepts and everyday life situations.

What is Classifying?

Classifying is a process of arranging objects and events into segments, which makes it easy for a person to understand the function, purpose, and features of the said objects and events. It is helpful to classify things in order to understand the connections and relationships they have between them.

The Importance of Classifying

The world around us is divided into different categories according to different characteristics such as DNA, color, or weight. Clear methods or standards are devised and utilized to organize and classify. These methods can be subjective, given every one follows a different process of classifying things.

Classification comes after sorting. Once a child has mastered sorting, he would have developed his own criteria for grouping things together in segments or classes. The young individual would then be able to name these segments.

The process of classification helps children identify and understand everything that surrounds them. They can then study the similarities, differences, and features between different objects, events, or living organisms.

Classifying things into groups and naming them can help children enhance their language skills. Comparing items opens the door for more complex thinking, such as highlighting differences and similarities in greater detail

How Can Educators Approach These Skills In Early Childhood Setting?

Children can be taught sorting and classification skills at an early age. Most of it comes to the kids instinctively. However, you can guide them by engaging them in different activities. These activities can be as simple as grouping children based on their hair color or age.

Children can learn to classify and sort by sorting out rocks, leaves, blocks, toys, and other items into similar groups based on size, length, or color. It can also help the kids develop language and mathematical skills.

Here we will mention an activity you can do with the kids that will aid in the development and enhancement of sorting and classifying skills:

Spare Parts

- You can give children loose parts for practicing 1:1 correlation through sorting items according to numbers. Items of varying colors, textures, and sizes such as dice, bottle tops, buttons, dice, and marbles, or even natural items with varying tastes, smells, and textures, like flowers, honkey nuts, shells, herbs, sticks, stones, and feathers.

- As a result, children can classify objects using more meaningful methods. They can go so far as classifying them based on location like beach or garden (where they have seen these objects before)

- You can provide the kids with weighing scales, measuring tapes, or rulers to help them sort and classify things based on their size and weight.

- You can also give kids different sized and colored beads and instruct them to make patterns out of them.

Sorting and classifying familiar objects through this activity will help kids learn why these classifications exist. Additionally, they will learn how to order, compare, and make connections among different categories.

Wrapping Up

To sum up, sorting and classifying are two critical skills that a child should learn at an early age. They aid in the development of reasoning and critical thinking abilities. Besides that, they are a prerequisite for understanding mathematics (grouping numbers, pattern recognition, and geometry) and science.

Parents and teachers should encourage students to talk about what is similar and different about various things, using their five senses.

The information mentioned above highlights the importance of sorting and classifying skills. So it is time to get right to it and engage your kids in activities that will help them develop and strengthen these skills.

How to Teach Students to Sort Things into Categories

Children have an innate drive to understand their surroundings in order to bring balance to an environment that appears to be mostly beyond their control. As a result, sorting activities are popular among children.

Many children will begin categorizing items without being instructed by an educator. Many parents have come into a room to find their young children sorting their toys into categories based on size, color, or some other criterion.

Why Are These Activities Important?

Sorting is a prerequisite for many other skills. It helps children develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

This skill mainly aids in mathematical learning. We all associate numbers, counting, and higher-order operations like addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division with mathematics. However, before young kids can interact with numbers, they must first master various early processing skills. Among them are sorting, matching, comparing, ordering, and recognizing and defining characteristics.

Sorting teaches children how things are different from one another and how they can belong to and be sorted into groups. Acquiring sorting skills at a young age is beneficial for learning mathematical concepts later in life. This way of thinking also sets children on the path to applying logic and reasoning to everyday activities.

5 Things That You Can Try With your Students

Now that we have established that sorting activities can aid in the development of several skills. Let's discuss how you, as an educator, can teach your students to sort things into categories. Here are a few fun sorting activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Cereal Bracelet

Preschoolers will learn about sorting, textures, and numbers with the help of these educational and tasty cereal wristbands. Cereal and wires are all that are required for this exercise. You can use Froot Loops or any other ring cereal with similar colors that can be easily threaded into the wire.

Children can sort the loop by color or size and then string them into the wire according to the sorting criteria they chose. They can count the number of loops they can thread into each wire.

This activity will not only help enhance the children's sorting and categorizing skills, but will also help them acquire fundamental math skills like recognizing patterns, understanding similarities and differences, and matchmaking.

Stone Sort

With this activity, you can familiarize the children with different types of stones and their colors and patterns. You can first ask the kids to collect stones from the backyard or garden.

You can instruct the kids to sort the stones by color or shape, as that is easier. The children can then name the categories they have grouped the stones in. It will help enhance their language and communication skills.

Then instruct the kids to sort the stones by pattern. You can also flip the stones over and play the memory matching game. Doing this activity can contribute towards reinforcing sorting, counting, and pattern recognition skills

Pairing Socks

You can make a highly entertaining sorting game for any age group using colorful socks. You can either use old socks or purchase new ones.

For additional motor practice, the children can sort the socks by color and clip the socks that match using a clothespin. Make it even more fun by stringing yarn between two chairs or hanging it between the walls, and instruct the kids to line up their socks on a clothesline.

Besides the motor practice, this activity can help enhance the kids' matchmaking and classification skills.

Dropping Clothespins

It is an excellent activity for early learners to practice counting and identifying colors. Several bins of different colors and matching clothespins are needed to play.

Construction paper can be used to dress up bins, coffee cans, or any kind of container in a particular style. You can paint clothespins, too. You can mix and match colors. Make students sort their colored clothespins into their matching colored containers, and then have them count them.

This activity can aid in the development of skills (such as counting, organizing, and understanding patterns and functions) that are considered prerequisites of mathematical learning.

The Number Game

Different skill levels can be catered to by modifying quantity activities. A toddler can work in a group of one or two, while preschoolers can work in groups of up to five.

To streamline this game, mark your sorting boxes with numbers and have the kid fill in the right quantity in each spot. You can use eggs or poms-poms for the activity. Pom poms are great for sorting since they can be sorted by color and size.

Again, this activity will enhance a kid's counting and matching skills, which are critical to mathematical learning.


Shape sorting is an exciting and one of the most engaging sorting activities. It not only helps kids understand different shapes better but also aids in developing artistic abilities.

On the floor, tape a circle, rectangle, and triangle with a masking tape. Having done so, instruct the children to gather different objects from their surroundings and then place them inside the boundaries of the shapes on the floor based on the object's shape and whether it looks similar to the shapes on the floor.

Shape sorting can contribute to the development of many skills. It can help the kids understand geometry better and enhance their drawing abilities.

Wrapping Up

There we have it, the most engaging and educational sorting activities for preschoolers and toddlers that will be fun for the kids to do.

Each of these activities can help develop different skills in children. It's best to establish your teaching goal and choose an activity to help achieve it.