This rainbow trees color sorting activity is a fun way for young children to practice color recognition and sorting while also working on their fine motor skills. Grab your free printable and put it in your math center or fine motor center. Your preschoolers will love it!
There are a lot of differing opinions on what kind of content should be taught in preschool. And the methodology…wow! Now that could seriously start a debate!
But one thing that all preschool teachers and parents seem to agree on is that learning colors is a big part of being a preschooler. As teachers and parents, it’s something we can all count on teaching.
Many times, children will naturally learn color recognition through ordinary, daily activities in their lives. Things like reading books, choosing out their clothing, and playing with blocks all help children with color recognition.
One of the most effective ways I have found to teach preschoolers color names is by sorting. When you introduce sorting to your preschooler, colors are a great place to start. And many children naturally enjoy matching and sorting colors, too!
Recently, my preschool-aged sons found my bin of rainbow colored buttons, so I put together this simple free printable for them to use while sorting the buttons.
Rainbow Trees Color Sorting Activity
This activity is quick to prepare and set up. Nice and simple, which is one thing that makes it awesome for a quiet-time bin or a busy bag. Once your preschooler knows what to do, they can easily work independently.
- FREE rainbow trees printable (found at the end of this post)
- buttons in rainbow colors
Simply print out the rainbow trees in color on heavy card stock and laminate for added durability. Set them out with a bin of buttons in rainbow colors. Invite your child to join you in sorting the buttons.
My boys love to play with buttons. There’s something calming about a button box. It gives you the same kind of satisfaction as playing with kinetic sand or running your fingers through a rice sensory bin. The first thing my son did was to stir the buttons like he was stirring a pot of stew.
Then, he began to sort the buttons. First, choosing out several blue buttons because that’s his favorite color, before sorting other colors.
And that is pretty typical. Often when children are tasked to sort between multiple features (like multiple colors) they will pick out select colors first. My son gingerly sorted through the buttons to pick out several blue buttons before moving on to others.
Not only does this activity work on color matching and recognition, but since we are using buttons, it also works on fine motor skills. Picking up the buttons naturally encourages the use of the pincer grasp, which is needed for the right pencil grasp.
Four Other Color Sorting Activities
The six colors of the rainbow can be overwhelming for a preschooler. Here are some ways to modify this activity for the skill of your preschooler:
- For the youngest preschoolers, they might be most interested in dumping the buttons onto all the trees and haphazardly arranging them. This is okay. It will increase their interest in colors, as well as their fine motor skills. (Be sure to use buttons that are large enough not to be choking hazards).
- To simplify the activity, start by sorting out only two or three colors at once; for youngest preschoolers very contrasting colors, like red, yellow and blue.
- To make the activity more challenging, offer your preschooler a set of three colored trees but the whole rainbow of buttons. This will encourage your preschooler to search for specific colors while sorting out the colors that are not needed at all. Some preschoolers might even make a separate pile of discarded buttons.
- Invite your preschooler to search for other matching colors around the room.
- Invite your preschooler to name items that are matching colors of each button sorted.
Want More Rainbow Activities?
Then you’ve got to see these! And don’t forget your free printable underneath!
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Get Your FREE Color Sorting Printable
Think this is something your preschooler will enjoy? Grab your free copy by clicking the download button below.
Want More Sorting and Math Activities?
Then you might like these printable math packs!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.