Sorting & Snacking {jelly beans} | Tuesdays with Jacob

Sorting & Snacking {jelly beans}

March 9, 2016

I have a confession to make. As a kindergarten teacher, it's really hard for me to come home and make the mental switch from teaching 5-6 years olds, to teaching a toddler. For this reason, weeknights are spent focusing on learning through play without pushing any structured activities. We play with which ever toys Jacob picks out, and if he picks out books then we read them. Jacob leads 100% and that works best for me. 

But on the weekends, when daddy is at work and it's just the two of us, I like to put together some structured activities for Jacob to start working on some pre-literacy and early math skills. I keep things as fun as possible without any pressure. If Jacob isn't interested, we move on and try later. If he doesn't grasp a concept right away, that's ok. We have fun with it and I know that with repeated exposure he'll eventually start to catch on. 

Recently, Jacob has started identifying some of his colors and pointing them out when we read books so I wanted to capitalize on his interests. Since the stores are overflowing with Easter gear right now I thought it would be fun to introduce him to sorting using Easter eggs and jelly beans. 

Jacob has already (unknowingly) had some exposure to sorting with his divided dinner plates. If food drops off the fork into the wrong compartment, he quickly moves it back. So here's how I set it up: 

Jelly Bean Sorting
1 Egg Carton
12 Colored Easter Eggs (you only need half)
1 bag of Jelly Beans (in colors matching the eggs)

1. Divide the plastic eggs in half
2. Place the egg halves upright in the egg carton
3. Sort through your jelly beans so you have only the colors that match your eggs
4. Give your child the jelly beans
5. Model for them placing a jelly bean of each color into the matching egg
6. Support and remodel as necessary

We used pink, yellow, green, and blue - colors that Jacob was already familiar with. This required me to sort out all of the purple jelly beans. Don't you worry - those purple ones didn't go to waste! ;)

Jacob caught on quickly and quite a few got sorted into the correct eggs. Quite a few also made it into his mouth - which is just fine!

He was perfectly happy to sort the jelly beans as long as he got to eat some too. Near the end, I could tell he just wanted to be done as he started picking up lots of beans at once and dumping them into any egg without regard to color.

At that point, I praised him for a job well done sorting the colors and we sat and ate some jelly beans together while we talked about the colors. I didn't want to force him to keep going and take the fun out of it when he had clearly had enough! My goal is to always keep learning experiences fun and open ended for him, and I think this accomplished that! 

I'd love to hear some of the activities you do with your toddlers, leave me a comment below!

8 comments on "Sorting & Snacking {jelly beans}"
  1. This is a genius idea. THANK YOU!! Totally gonna do this.

  2. This is a great idea. I'm going to do this with my two year old! She likes to point out colors :)

  3. I love it!!!!Ainsley would love this!!!!!!!

  4. Such as simple, fun, (and delicious!) idea!

  5. What a cute idea! I know my older son would love this, especially the consuming them part!

  6. This is GREAT!!! My daughter would be all over this!

  7. This is such a great idea. I think my kids would mostly eat them these days. lol xo ~ Megan The Fashionista Momma

  8. Love this!! Such a fun idea for learning colours