St. Patrick’s Day brings with it so many fun colors to enjoy. With the obvious heavy splash of green at this time of year, we also like to incorporate the rest of the rainbow. Here are four simple sorting trays to help keep little hands busy and little minds engaged.

Rainbows Galore: Sorting by Color

This is probably the most simple of the sorting activities. Place a selection of these cute little rainbow erasers (from Michael’s Store) on a tray, along with three empty bowls and some Learning Resources Gator Grabber Tweezers™. Ask your child if they can sort the rainbows into color categories.

The Gator Grabbers are great for younger children. They encourage the whole hand to work hard and help to avoid frustration. My 4-year-old did a great job picking up the rainbows and sorting them into the three bowls. When she was done, she carefully counted how many of each color she had, a fun numeracy link.

Mini Roll & Sort: Counting & Sorting

Adding dice to your sorting setup is a great way to build some early numeracy skills. For this specific activity, we used our Dice Poppers! Single dice. Using the popper style dice really adds excitement and engagement for little ones! I put out our fun collection of mini St. Patrick’s Day-themed erasers (from Party City), along with an ice cube tray and a set of Handy Scoopers™.

My preschooler popped the dice and then identified the number. She then used the Handy Scoopers to grab a scoop of the erasers, from which she counted the correct number into the ice cube tray section. Several stages to this sorting activity helped to maximize fine motor skill development and counting practice. My daughter also thought the tiny size of these erasers slotting into the ice cube tray compartments was really neat.

Colorful Muffin Tin Sort: Sorting by Color

Using a muffin tin as a sorting tray is such a great play and learning hack. I like to add these vibrant silicone cupcake liners (from Amazon Basics) to the muffin tin to instantly turn it into a color sorting tray. The erasers for this activity are little Crayola crayons (from Dollar Tree). This time around, the tool provided was a Squeezy Tweezer™, my daughter’s favorite!

My preschooler had to be patient and carefully manipulate the crayon eraser into the Squeezy Tweezer and then drop it into the correct color cupcake liner. The uniqueness of these little erasers made the activity really fun. It also lends itself well to talking about color mixing. We speculated what color we would get if we mixed different combinations of little crayon erasers.

Pom Poms & Water: Sensory Sorting

This one really was a big hit with my preschooler. I simply added three different colored pom-poms (from Dollar Tree) to a bowl of water and provided some Handy Scoopers and three empty bowls. There was lots of excitement at exploring how the pom poms absorbed the water like a sponge. My daughter spent ages using the pom-poms like a sponge, slowly squeezing them dry.

After the initial exploration time, the attention shifted to using the Handy Scoopers to rescue the pom poms from the water and sort them into their color bowls. Using this particular fine motor skill really makes the whole hand work hard. It is also amusing how the water drains out of the holes in the scoop. This activity definitely kept the play going the longest!

Sorting trays are a fantastic way to explore colors, counting, shapes, size, and so much more. With Learning Resources’ fine motor skills, they also ensure a full hand workout, helping to develop those all-important muscles for writing.