Keep your little ones amused and learning with this fun rainbow shamrock color sorting activity for preschoolers! Kids can practice color recognition, sorting skills, and fine motor abilities while having a blast. For an enjoyable educational experience that won’t break the bank, print out these free activities today!
Rainbow Shamrocks Color Sorting Mats
Who doesn’t love learning about rainbows in preschool?! And with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, we love them even more! Since the demand for my rainbow trees printable and my rainbow snowman printable, it only seemed appropriate that I would create a rainbow shamrocks printable for St. Patrick’s Day.
Do your preschoolers ever ask you what a shamrock is? It’s actually really interesting and rather fitting for preschoolers. A shamrock is a young clover and literally translated means “little plant” or “young plant”.
Shamrocks and clovers are often used interchangeably because they are the same plant. Specifically, a shamrock is a three-leafed clover.
Now, what about four-leaf clovers? We know those are considered good luck, and the reason why is because they are rare. They are actually a mutation in a recessive gene of the clover plant.
And that’s why they are a symbol of good luck.
Now, how the common three-leaf clover got turned into the rare four-leaf clover as a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m not sure. (Originally St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to represent the Holy Trinity).
But, in the United States, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a fun holiday about the Irish, luck, and rainbows and Ireland is said to be the home of more four-leaf clovers than anywhere else in the world, thus the term “luck of the Irish.” Honestly, I think this is a super fun holiday to celebrate with preschoolers!
And it helps to have free learning printables like these rainbow shamrock fine motor mats. Don’t forget to grab your free color sorting printable at the end of this post!
FAQ About Teaching Sorting to Preschoolers
Sorting is the ability to identify similarities and differences among a set of objects and to group and name them accordingly. This kind of organization is prominent in an assortment of disciplines, including math, science, and music.
Sorting is systematic. It’s ordering. It’s comparing and contrasting. Sorting is matching, and it’s also the very most basic form of algebra.
In preschool, sorting and comparing skills include:
~ sorting by color
~ sorting by size
~ sorting by shapes
As with all other strands of mathematics, the study of comparing and sorting provides a foundation for more advanced algebra concepts that will be explored in later years.
Sorting helps young children make observations about how things are alike and different — which are two essential early literacy and math skills.
One of the most important skills that children will ever learn is how to process information. Sorting can help them with this essential ability. It will help grades in school, but more importantly, it develops critical executive function skills which are necessary for life after school!
Teaching Colors Learning Activities Using Rainbow Shamrock Mats
A St. Patrick’s Day printable like this one is especially fun for preschoolers because they get the fun of rainbow colors in addition to the lucky clovers so symbolic of St. Patrick’s Day. This means not only is it fitting for the holiday, but also for any preschooler or toddler who is learning colors. And don’t forget there is a lot of fine motor work, too, which is so important for developing pencil grip.
- Free rainbow shamrock printable (found at the end of this post)
- Pom poms in rainbow colors (or buttons or unifix cubes)
- Jumbo tweezers or mini tongs
Print the shamrock printable on heavy cardstock. There are two versions available. You can print the shamrock in color or alternatively you can print the blackline copy on colored paper instead.
Place the shamrock on a table with a set of rainbow manipulatives of some sort. Here are some ideas of manipulatives you can use:
Place the counters on a tray, all mixed up, alongside the shamrock printable.
How to Use the Color Sorting Mats to Teach Color Activities
The primary activity that inspired this simple (but oh-so-fun) preschool activity is straightforward. Invite your preschooler to use their fingers, tongs or tweezers to sort the pom poms into the shamrock printables. Using tweezers can be hard for many preschoolers. They are hard to “tweeze”, which is by design because it really works on strengthening their hands.
If you have a young preschooler or a toddler, she might choose to use her hands to transfer the pom poms. This is ok. Picking up each pom pom requires the use of the pincer grasp, so she will still be working on fine motor skills.
If your preschooler doesn’t like to use the jumbo tweezers or mini tongs, this might be because his hands are not strong enough or coordinated enough to use them.
But that’s why we present our preschoolers with activities like this rainbow shamrock color sorting activity. Even if your preschooler only uses the tongs for a few pom poms, she is still strengthening her hands.
Not to mention that she is learning to use real-life tools with real-life hand movements. This is important in the physical development of a preschooler.
How to Modify This Activity for a Range of Abilities
One challenge of teaching preschoolers is that they come to you with such a wide range of skills. Some might already have a mature tripod pencil grasp while another student in your class might still be using the “death grip”, as I like to call it.
Here are some ideas of how you can use my Dina bow shamrock printable with various skill levels in your classroom.
- Provide older preschoolers with various color sorting manipulatives that may be more difficult to use with tweezers. Connecting cubes, for example, may be more difficult.
- Add even more fine motor fun by inviting your preschoolers to make their own rainbow pom poms by crumpling up construction paper or tissue paper.
- Invite younger preschoolers to just explore using the tweezers or tongs. Don’t worry about the color sorting.
- Or, do just the opposite and eliminate the tweezers or tongs and just invite your younger preschooler to sort the pom poms by hand.
- Add a math component by rolling a die and inviting your preschooler to count sets of pom poms onto the rainbow shamrock printables.
- Use the blackline copy of the snowmen and staple into a booklet. Invite your preschoolers to color their own snowmen in rainbow colors.
- Make small shamrock copies, and multiple copies, of the rainbow shamrocks printable to place in a sensory bin. Throw in all your rainbow pom poms and some scoops to make a complete St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin.
How else would you use a free printable shamrock template or color sorting cards? (Er…um…how about shamrock patterns…I could keep going!)
More Color Activities for Preschool
Just click the images too be taken to the activity! Then keep reading for even more rainbow activities for preschoolers and grab your free shamrock color sorting printable activity at the end of this post! What are YOUR favorite color sorting printable activities?
Grab Your Free Rainbow Shamrock Color Sorting Printable Here!
This you want to add these color activities to your St. patrick’s Day preschool lesson plans? Remember. this printable includes a blackline version so you can even use them for shamrock coloring pages and make a booklet to take home.
Rainbow Activities from my Favorite Bloggers
These rainbow activities are all completely new, so grab a cup of tea and take some time to look through them. Your free shamrock printable is just below this!
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT
Rainbow Color Words Playdough Mats // Literacy with the Littles
Rainbow Shamrocks Color Sorting and Fine Motor Activity // Stay at Home Educator
Teen Number Rainbow Clip Cards // Recipe for Teaching
Rainbow Counting Puzzles // The Kindergarten Connection
Rainbow Money Match // The Simplified Classroom
Rainbow ABC Sensory Bottle with Printable // The Letters of Literacy
Compound Words Matching Activity // Sara J. Creations
Editable Rainbow Secret Code Word Cards // Fun Learning for Kids
CVC Words Rainbow Match Up // The Primary Post
Roll a Rainbow // Teach Me Mommy
Rainbow Bear Sorting Mats // Fairy Poppins
Rainbow Unicorn Toothpaste Science Experiment // Science Kiddo
Make a Rainbow with Playdough Printable // Powerful Mothering
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.