Marsh Gibbon Pre-School
Marsh Gibbon Pre-School

Colour sorting and counting activity 

A fun and simple activity that can be completed with objects found around the home.

To begin with you and your child could go on a hunt around the house or garden with a basket or bag looking for interesting objects to sort, such as; pegs, buttons, Lego/Duplo blocks, pom poms etc. 

Once you have your collection of items you will need to decide how you would like your child to sort through their objects. Think about their mathematical ability and what you feel they can achieve. A good place to start would be colour sorting to allow them to gage the idea of sorting objects into groups. Once they have got to grips with this you can introduce number visuals to encourage number recognition and counting. 

View the photos below for some ideas of sorting objects. You could use a cake tin, coloured bowls, coloured tubes or even draw shapes with coloured pens on paper. 

Role model mathematical language throughout this activity and ask questions that test their abilities. You are looking out for language such as; “The blue pile has more objects than the red pile” “The buttons are smaller than the Duplo bricks” “That’s a number 3.. I’m 3!”. Always praise any counting attempts even if they are not always counting in the correct order e.g. “1,2,3,7,9,4!” They are still grasping the context of numbers and counting and all efforts should be celebrated!

If your child is completing this with ease you can then start to introduce finding the total amount of objects in a pile. “How many blue buttons are there in this bowl?” “How many are there now if we add the red pom poms?” “Well done the answer is 8, can you show me what the number 8 looks like?’ etc. 


Chalk and water play outside 

What you will need:

  • Chalk
  • Water
  • Space!

The great outdoors can be an amazing canvas for your child’s creative drawings and mark making! 

There are lots of ways to enjoy and explore with chalk and water:


§  Find the perfect space. It can be the pavement outside your house, a brick wall, your patio in your garden etc.

§  Let your child draw freely on the ground. It’s such a simple way to have lots of fun!

§  Make a game out of it. You can draw and then play games such as ‘hopscotch’. Join your child in their play, you’ll both have lots of fun!

§  Why not draw on the walls? The simple fact of being allowed to draw on walls can entertain your child. Try it and notice the surprise and satisfaction on their little faces.

§  Make your own paint! Grind up some chalk and add a bit of water until it turns into a paste. Now get creative with various tools such as paintbrushes, sponges, brooms, sticks etc!

§  Or paint with water, no colours. Just get an old paintbrush and a bucket of water. Children will spend hours painting the fence, the ground, a tree trunk… anything really. The best thing about painting with water is that it doesn’t stain.

§  Add some paper and a paintbrush and you have a whole new activity! 

§  Try to incorporate big movements in your drawing activity. It’s a great exercise for your child’s motor skills and the drawings will turn out fantastic



  • Don’t worry about making mistakes when drawing with chalk. By adding a few drops of water, you can easily erase them. Encourage your little one not to worry about mistakes, it is all part of the creative process.
  • Always try a test on a small area of the surface and wash it off first. Just in case it can't be wash off later! 
  • Celebrate all of the child’s mark making, it might look like a bit of a mess to you but to the child that could be a ‘lorry travelling down the road’, ‘a trip to the beach with family’ or ‘a picture of their Mummy and Daddy!’ All mark making is a process towards being able to control and manipulate tools such as pens and pencils and will ultimately lead them to being able to form recognisable letters and numbers.


Why not give this activity a try? Don’t worry about the mess. If the children get a little bit of chalk on their hands or clothes, you can just dust it off. Go outside and have fun, we would love to see some photos of your creations!


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