Sorting Blocks by Shape & Color

Math & 123s
Preschoolers9 Comments

Block Activity for Kids Sorting by ShapeHenry and I were having some great quality, quiet time together while George was taking an early nap. We were playing with his Imaginets (affiliate link), matching patterns and shapes. When he started to get bored with that, I mentioned doing some patterning or sorting with our blocks. His response?

“We don’t do that kind of patterning at school…”

Okay… well, we can do things a little differently at home. While patterning would have been a great idea to do with blocks, I let Henry decide how he wanted to play with them. I got our wooden blocks out and I first sorted them a couple of ways. One by colors, and one by shapes. Henry quickly decided he wanted to sort his blocks by shape.

As he started, he realized that some of our blocks are the same shape, but different sizes. So we talked about what makes them the same and what made them different.

I really thought when Henry started sorting that each shape would be thrown into a pile.


Henry built as he sorted the blocks.

There were some pretty good size walls…

Walls of cubes, cylinders, and rectangles.

And piles of ‘boards’ (as Henry called them), those were the long skinny rectangles.

Henry also built a tunnel with the blocks that have the half circle cut out of them.

As well as rows of triangles. (Two different sizes of triangles.)

Towards the end of the sorting, Henry told me that it was almost time for the semi to come and get a load.

He had 18 loads of blocks to take (or so he told me).

He loaded them up and hauled them back to the block tub, putting them all away.

That’s my kind of cleanup after a fun, learning activity!

When George woke, I thought I would try some color sorting with him (Henry joined in too).

But he just couldn’t grasp colors. I knew he didn’t know them yet, but wanted to try.

I set out a few different colored baskets (of the same colors as the blocks if I had them).

I let Henry lead the way for him. Placing each color block in the like colored basket.

I asked Henry to say the color out loud every time he put one in, so George could hear it and learn how he was sorting them.

George just wasn’t ready for that yet.

He just had fun putting blocks in each of the baskets, without sorting them in any way. He had a fun time.

He ended up putting the shape sorter (that comes with our tub our blocks) on one of the baskets and put the blocks through that.

Most activities don’t really turn out like I plan. But the kids usually still have a good time with it at least. And that’s all that really matters, right?

What’s a fun way that your kids play with blocks?

We’ve had fun with blocks a few ways:

  1. Building a Block City
  2. Floor Block Puzzles
  3. Counting Block Towers
  4. Baby Play Block Towers

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  1. Heather @ Life, Gluten Free says

    what brand of blocks are those? love the assortment

    My daughter has been having a lot of fun with her citiblocs that we got her for her birthday. We all have been, actually! They are very simple, but so much fun. We build houses, bridges, fences, etc! :)

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