Perler beads were a big part of my childhood. They showed up in everything from Christmas ornaments to friendship bracelets. This Color Sorting Fine Motor Activity was inspired by a bag of old, unopened beads I found. It’s a great hands-on color activity for preschool. While sorting the Perler beads by color, kids can learn color names, associate them with items in the room, and work on fine motor muscles each time they grasp a new bead. This super simple learning activity is a great way to teach colors!

– Life Over C's colored bead sorting fine motor color activity for kids

Recommended Grade Level:

Colored Bead Sorting Supplies:

  • Divided Tray/Paint Palette
  • Multi-Colored Beads

Learning Colors Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

COLOR LEARNING ACTIVITIES

LEARNING COLORS GAMES AND ACTIVITIES ARE BEST WHEN KIDS CAN MANIPULATE OBJECTS, TALK ABOUT COLORS, AND HAVE LOTS OF FUN.

I love this bead sorting by color idea because it allows kids to explore with their eyes to match objects with the same colors. Grasping the beads improves fine motor strength.

Paying attention to the different colors of the beads and organizing them into separate wells is a great visual discrimination activity. Some of the beads were even the same color (blue, for example), but different shades. This had my preschooler really investigating each color before sorting.

Besides color sorting, this activity also provided an opportunity to work on fine motor skills. Pinching each bead between the forefinger and thumb as they select each color is excellent fine motor work! Fine motor activities like this educational game are a great way to strengthen the small muscles of the hand and get them ready for writing.

You could extend this bead activity by counting how many of each bead. Use vocabulary like “more and less than” ties math into this sorting activity.

Once the beads were organized, we, of course, made friendship bracelets. You can’t go wrong with that classic activity!

If you interact with your child while they explore (not required), feel free to spur thought and conversation:

  • Do you have any pink/yellow/purple toys?
  • What else can you think of that is orange/yellow/green?
  • Can you think of a food that is pink/yellow/blue?
  • What is your favorite color? Why?
– Life Over C's Use classic peeler beads for a simple color sorting activity for preschoolers!

What Can Toddlers and Preschoolers Learn While Strengthening Fine Motor With Beads?

FINE MOTOR COLOR SORTING ACTIVITY

LEARNING TO NAME AND IDENTIFY COLORS AROUND YOU IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS LEARNING OTHER IMPORTANT CONCEPTS, LIKE SHAPES, LETTERS, AND NUMBERS.

Preschool color recognition worksheets are useful sometimes, but they aren’t as interesting to kids as hands-on games and activities. This color word activity will be so fun and have your child concentrating on each colored cell. Here are some color specific vocabulary words you might introduce:

  • Dark/Light
  • Shade
  • Contrast
  • Match
– Life Over C's Use classic peeler beads for a simple color sorting activity for preschoolers!

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn Colors?

Children are naturally curious about everything around them. Learning about colors with coloring games for kids and color matching games helps them understand the world a little bit better.

Background Knowledge

Color vocabulary is important! Most toddlers start by learning one color and then refer to everything as that color! It takes time and experience to learn that each color has its own name.

Describe

Think of how many times we use color to describe something. When there are two of the same object, but multiple colors, it makes a world of difference!

Connect with Nature

Identifying colors in pictures and then transferring the knowledge to things that are in the real world helps kids make important connections with the world, nature, and their lives.

Compare/Contrast

Learning color characteristics helps kids sort, compare, and contrast with ease. Those are important skills for both reading and math instruction moving forward.

How to Make the Color Sorting Fine Motor Activity

To Prep:

Place the beads in the center of a divided tray or custom sorting tray. Place one bead of each color included into a cell of the tray so children know where to put the matching beads.

– Life Over C's Use classic peeler beads for a simple color sorting activity for preschoolers!

To Play:

Children choose a bead from the center, scan the tray for the matching bead, and place it with its match. Repeat!

This activity is pretty open-ended. You can talk and name colors as they sort, or you can let kids explore independently.

Extend the Activity:

Sensory Bin

Fill the sensory bin with black and white pom poms, then hide the colored beads inside. Kids will have fun pulling them out and sorting by color, or stringing them on a chenille stem.

Have a Snack

Pick a color of the day and make a themed snack. Red could include strawberries, red O cereal, red gelatin, or red apples and fruit snacks.

Oral Language

Puzzles, games, and sorting activities are great places to encourage oral language. Introduce sentence structure or new vocabulary in casual ways as the child works.

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– Life Over C's colored bead sorting fine motor color activity for kids
– Life Over C's colored bead sorting fine motor color activity for kids

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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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