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Easy Color Matching & Sorting Activity

Fruit Rings Cereal Sorting ActivityLearning to identify and name colors are very basic but critical skills for preschoolers.  And they can be fun to work on too!  Just remember that when you’re teaching colors, receptive skills should be worked on first (i.e., matching and sorting colors should come before naming colors).  I recommend starting with two colors at a time and then adding more once the child has learned those.

You can use this fun, hands-on activity to help your students match and sort as many or as few colors as they are ready for.  It’s great for rainbow, spring, and St. Patrick’s Day themes too!

What you need:

  • a cupcake pan (or half of an egg carton)
  • colored paper pieces in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, cut to fit in the bottom of the cups of the pan
  • colorful, fruity-flavored cereal rings, such as Froot Loops
  • a bowl to put the cereal in until it is sorted

What to do for color matching:

  1. Place the colored paper in the bottom of the pan cups.
  2. Pour some cereal in the bowl.
  3. Show your students how to put the cereal in the right cup based on matching it with the colored paper.  You can hold the cereal ring over some wrong colors and say, “Is that the same color?  No.  That’s not it.” and then move to the next color. When you reach the correct color, you could say something like, “Is that the same color?  Yes!  That’s yellow!” and then place the cereal in the yellow cup of the pan.
  4. Give the student one piece of cereal at a time to match into the correct cup and provide cues and feedback as appropriate.

What to do for color sorting:

  1. Take the colored pieces of paper out of the pan cups if they are in there.
  2. Pour some cereal in the bowl.
  3. Show your students how to separate the cereal into groups based on their colors.  You could say something like, “I’m going to put the red cereal right here. This one is blue, it’s different. I’m going to put it over here.  Look!  Here is another red one!  I’m going to put it with the other red cereal.  Let’s put all of the cereal pieces that are the same color together.”
  4. Give the student the bowl of cereal to sort into the pan cups.  He/she does not need to name the colors at this point.  I name the colors when I am demonstrating however as a good model.


  • Discourage the students from eating the sorting/matching cereal.  You can give them some to eat at the end if you’d like.
  • When using only two colors, start with colors that have a lot of contrast (i.e., not next to each other on the color wheel/rainbow).  Examples of contrasting color pairs are red/green, yellow/purple, and blue/orange.
  • You can use any type of container with separated areas or even small plastic cups or plates to do this activity.

Have fun!

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