Sorting and Classifying

Learn how to sort and classify objects.


2 Books:

  • Sort it Out by Barbara Mariconda
  • The Crayola Sorting Book by Jodie Shepherd

Activity: Super Sorting Pie: Fruity pie teaches early number skills and attributes (color and fruit shapes).

Materials: Bag of sortable items; Venn Diagram paper

Play Together

Playing with your child can be fun for them and for you, and asking questions will help your child learn. Before playing some of the games below, discuss the different ways items can be categorized. Explain that this is called sorting by attributes and that attributes are characteristics shared by a group of items.

  • Clean up Sort: Encourage your child to organize items in their bedroom, toy area or bathroom. How are the items sorted? Where do similar objects get stored? Make labels with words and pictures.
  • Grocery Sort: When unpacking groceries after a trip to the store, have your child help sort the items. Which ones go in the cabinet? The freezer? Help your child think of other inventive and useful ways to sort groceries by different properties/attributes.
  • Shoe Sort: Play a family game where everyone puts their shoes in a pile and then see how many different categories the shoes can be sorted (athletic, dress, person, largest to smallest).
  • Venn Diagram Sort: Compare and contrast how the objects are alike and different.
  • Scientists sort items too. Collect objects outside and sort them by living/nonliving, count the number of objects in each pile. Come up with other categories to sort the items.
  • Find a drawer or cupboard. Sort the items (such as bowls, silverware) by size, color, or shape. Sort the laundry pile (person, color, or size of clothes, season clothes may be worn, etc.). Create a clean up game where toys are sorted into bins or boxes.

Online Activities

Watch The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: All Sorts of Things or play the interactive Sorta-ma-goggo game.

Join Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat as they visit Toborrowland and learn all about sorting.


Visit Toborrowland with Nick and Sally, and help them pick up and sort items to put back into the borrow truck.


Use a Venn diagram with your child to sort items at home or school.

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Education Iowa PBS
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