Try out some corn color sorting mats to let children practice sorting and color identification. Pair the free printable mats with a sensory bin for even more learning fun. Be sure to add this hands-on activity to your list of fall math activities for preschoolers.
Be sure to grab your own set at the bottom of this post!
If you’re a regular Fun-A-Day reader, you know how much I like dyeing sensory materials for the kids. So it likely doesn’t surprise you that I figured out how to dye corn kernels years ago.
Ever since that dyeing experiment, we’ve used the colorful corn kernels in so very many activities! If you love this activity, be sure to check out all of our other corn activities and crafts for kids.
Here’s how you can use the dyed corn in a hands-on math experience.
Corn Color Sorting Mats
Have you ever sat and watched young children sorting, even when they don’t realize they’re doing it? I’ve seen them create their own snack math activity when we’re having a break.
And sensory materials are no different. Yes, many kids just want to jump in and get their hands on the sensory fillers.
But I’ve noticed a good amount also like to bring a little bit of sorting to the sensory play. Sometimes it’s in obvious ways, like sorting by color. Other times it’s in more unique ways, like when a former preschooler sorted different types of pasta based on the types he said “look the prettiest.”
If you have children who love sorting, these corn color sorting mats are sure to be a hit.
Corn Math Materials
You’ll need to grab just a few materials to get this math activity started:
- Colored popcorn kernels (click to read how to make your own)
- Corn sorting mats (get your own at the bottom of this post)
- Laminator or dry erase pockets
- Kid-friendly tweezers (optional)
If you don’t want to use rainbow corn kernels, you can always pair the mats with other items like:
No matter which rainbow items you settle on, I do really recommend that you protect the corn color sorting mats in some way. This way, they’ll last through MANY repeated uses.
How to Prep the Corn Printable
Print out the corn color sheets that you’d like to use with your class. There are six available since I made them to go along with the six basic colors of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
Then make sure to either laminate the corn sorting cards or place them in dry erase pockets. This will help with the cards’ durability. If I know I’m going to use a certain printable for years to come, I prefer laminating. Otherwise, I tend to stick with dry erase pockets.
Once the sorting cards are ready, put together your corn sensory bin. To do this, place your rainbow corn into a container of your choosing. If you’re using it on a table, I’d suggest a smaller bowl or tray. Otherwise, your usual sensory table will work just fine.
Using the Corn Color Sorting Mats in Preschool
Now that all of your materials are gathered, it’s time to bring the kids over.
I suggest letting the children have some time just to explore the sensory bin first. Let them pour, scoop, and run their hands through the rainbow corn. Play alongside the kids and chat with them about things, perhaps touching on all of the colors they see.
Related: Popcorn Number Cards
Some students might even prefer getting some additional auditory sensory input by adapting the corn sensory bin into a rainbow corn sensory bottle.
After a day or so of just focusing on the sensory aspect of the corn, introduce the corn color sorting mats. This would make for a great small group activity.
Show the kids the color sheets and talk about the colors. Consider asking the children to name different items they know that match each of the colors.
Then let the kids work together to sort the rainbow corn. If they’re up for it, challenge the children to use tweezers or tongs as they’re sorting. The corn is small enough that their fingers will get a fine motor workout either way, though.
Related: Fine Motor Pumpkin Sorting Activity
You can extend the activity by incorporating other manipulatives in the sorting, too. Or send the children on a “color hunt” around the classroom. They can each bring back a certain color to match one of the corn color cards.
In addition to using the colorful corn printable as sorting mats, you could also make a rainbow popcorn book. Have the kids design their own front covers, and then staple the pages together to make a corn emergent reader.
I think the color pages would also be great playdough mats! There are many ways you can use them in your classroom. How would YOU incorporate the sorting mats?
Done-For-You Teacher Resources
If there’s one I love about preschool, it’s getting to teach little minds about a wide variety of themes and topics. What I don’t necessarily love is spending hours upon hours lesson planning.
Let Preschool Teacher 101 help you save time (and your sanity)! There are so many amazing lesson plans already prepared for you.
Check out this full week worth of lesson plans all about vegetables by clicking on the image below.
Preschool Teacher 101 is a membership site that will help you save time and money all year long. Join The Pack today!
They also have some wonderful farm lesson plans along with a cute fall dramatic play activity. Click below for more information about each resource.
Get Your Free Printable Color Sorting Mats
The sorting mats are available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you are, just enter your information in the form below to grab your copy.
If you’re not, no worries! You can join us by entering your name and email in the form below. Then you’ll receive a copy of the corn color sorting mats as a welcome gift.
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