Sorting is an important skill, but it is also an intuitive one. It is human to crave order and sorting is one way to make order from chaos. This sorting tray was a big hit with my 2 and 3-year-old students and they needed very little help figuring out what they were supposed to do because it is just natural to sort items and the prompts ( the colored foam) are just there for support. There are all sorts of benefits to this activity; the small pom poms support fine motor skills development and of course the cognitive benefits of sorting, the jack-o-lantern containers bring in some novelty and fun which isn’t just an extra, remember when activities are fun they are meaningful.
Gather your materials. You will need some jack-o-lantern containers ( These were bought at the dollar store, but I have seen them at Target, Superstore in Canada, Walmart and Michael’s ), some pom poms, and sticky back foam in coordinating colors.
Cut the foam into small strips
Attach to the handle of each jack-o-lantern container.
Add the pom poms to the tray and invite kiddos to match them up. My students enjoyed taking the pom poms out as much as in and that actually took more concentration and patience which was a fun unexpected developmental skill work.
This is a great free choice activity, and you can use tongs like these and even smaller pom poms for older more developed children.
Board Books About Halloween
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Spooky Pookie by Sandra Boynton is an adorable rhyming book all about a little pig trying to find just the right costume for Halloween. The images are fun and simple, and there is nothing spooky about this book, despite its title. A great little read for toddlers.
One, Two, Boo! by Kristen L. Depken is a little lift the flap counting board book that little ones will love reading one on one. This is not a great book for a group because the flaps to lift are small and not at all sturdy, one tug of war and they will rip. That said the text rhymes which I like but the rhythm of the book never quite find its stride. It is a cute enough book, but if you can only choose one book from this list, this wouldn’t be my pick.
Boo! by Leslie Patricelli is a great Halloween book for 2-4-year-olds who have little to no memory of previous Halloweens. It covers carving pumpkins, finding costumes, and even how scary it can be at first to trick-or-treat. I especially adore the page with all different jack-o-lantern faces with different emotions and when the baby is trying on different costumes how they have all sorts of different costumes from princesses to cowboys, to ghosts. I appreciate this small nod to inclusiveness. I can’t wait to read this to my class in the coming weeks.