Pom-pom Colour Sort & Count. Early Maths

Mar 7, 2013

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For me, there's not many manipulatives as fun as pom-poms for kids!

They're soft and fuzzy, small and light, coloured and shiney and textured. Delight!
(I wonder if anyone's every written a poem about pom-poms? haha)

This activity couldn't be any simpler to do and set up but is lots of fun and holds plenty of learning!

Use this activity to learn more about colours, sorting/categorising, counting, numbers, estimation, one-to-one correspondence (1:1) and  developing fine motor skills.

Ages: 2+
(see Handy Tips at the bottom for ideas to modify to your child's level)

Materials: Coloured pompoms, divided containers
(I deliberately started with only 1 container with not enough spaces for all the colours to see what she'd do)

It didn't take long before she realised that she didn't have enough compartments to sort the amount of different colours.

I then gave her another tray (just a muffin pan) so she could continue her sorting

Picking out those pom-poms was great for developing pincer-grip

She was happy about all the extra compartment she had and started to divide the lights from the darks.

When she'd divided them all I asked her which colour pom-pom she thought she had the most of? 
Which did she have the least of?

I then had her test her guess by counting the pom-poms. We practiced one-to-one correspondence (1:1) by moving each pompom from one side to another while counting aloud.

Handy Tips

- Simplify this activity by providing fewer pom-poms and colour options to sort and count. Start with 2 or 3 different colours and 5-10 pom-poms of each colour and work your way up.

- Extend this activity by having children guess which colour of pom-pom there is the most of before starting. Graph the results at the end to find out how close the initial guess was.

- Mix it up by doing the same activity with different manipulatives like blocks, legos, buttons, counters etc

- Talk with your child about what they are doing and naturally follow the conversation about colours and numbers. Use descriptive words like fuzzy and soft to help them develop their language.

Here are some more of our fun NUMBER activities for kids

You can also follow our Playful Maths series.

Happy playing,
Debs :)

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  1. Love the way you have extended this activity Deb. We do something similar with pom poms and muffin tins for colour recognition but i never thought about maths concepts! Thanks for the ideas!

    1. Well, really, you were already doing maths concepts you just weren't thinking specifically about them. haha, which is the awesome thing about play. How good are pom poms? We love them! haha :)

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