Keep a Lid on It!: A Sorting Game

2.8 based on 26 ratings
Updated on May 9, 2013

Have you ever done a can drive? A coin drive? How about a lid drive? Didn’t think so.

Kids love to collect things and this activity takes that love and turns it into a great way to practice sorting, counting, matching, and other early math skills--- on the fly. No need to break the piggy bank for this one, you’ll be using something you’d normally toss in the recycling bin—lids

What You Need:

  • Lids, lids, and more lids!
  • A curious kid

What You Do:

  1. Put your kid in charge as Collector in Chief. He can sort through your own recycling bins, ask the neighbors, or put in a call to grandma, asking them to save any lids they come across. Keep in mind: you want as much variety in your collection as possible; however, you also want some multiples for sorting into groups, matching, and making patterns.
  2. As you collect the lids, have your child help you wash and dry them (you don’t want to start a bug collection at home as well!) and put them into a container or cardboard box. Talk about the lids as your collection grows: discuss their size, color, and shape.
  3. Once you’ve gathered a good sized collection, you can put them to work! Here are a few ideas:
  • Count the lids.
  • Sort the lids by color and size. You can also sort lids that have words on them, from lids with no words, or put all lids with the same first letter together. Ask your child to look at his collection and get creative with his groupings!
  • Place a few lids in front of your child and ask her to find their matches. As she gets better, use a timer to see how quickly she can match a certain number of lids, and then see if she can beat that time the next time you play.
  • Use the lids to make patterns, like red, blue, red, blue. Or do it by size, for example, big, big, small, big, big, small. Continue to add to the collection. A little bit of lids are great, but more than a liddle is even better!
Sarah Richards has an M.A. in Early Childhood Development and a B.S. in Child Development. She's spent 6 years teaching kindergarten and first grade. Before that, she was a child development specialist for young children with special needs. She has also worked in the preschool classroom.

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