Support for PBS Parents provided by:

  • Arthur
  • Cat in the Hat
  • Curious George
  • Daniel Tiger
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Let's Go Luna
  • Nature Cat
  • Odd Squad
  • Peg + Cat
  • Pinkalicous and Peterriffic
  • Ready Jet Go
  • Splash and Bubbles
  • Super Why!
  • Wild Kratts
  • Sesame Street
  • Ruff Ruffman Show
  • Mister Rogers
  • Cyberchase
  • SciGirls
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Martha Speaks
  • The Electric Company
  • WordGirl
  • Caillou
  • Oh Noah
  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab
  • Maya & Miguel
  • Postcards from Buster
  • Clifford
  • WordWorld
  • DragonFly TV
  • ZOOM
Sesame Street

Block Sorting

Think flexibly and use working memory to develop early math skills with this fun block sorting activity.


  • Blocks of different colors, sizes, and shapes


  1. Find an area in your home where you can spread out the blocks.
  2. Observe the blocks together and talk about their different properties, such as size, shape, and color.
  3. Help your child find one of each shaped block and place them far apart from one another. As you find each shape, name it and count its sides and angles.
  4. Together, think of a strategy to help you remember what you’re sorting by, such as making up a song or rhyme, or repeating the sorting rule out loud over and over.
  5. Sort the rest of the blocks by shape until they are each in a shape pile.
  6. Count the number of blocks in each pile. Which one has the most? Which one has the least?
  7. Have your child reshuffle all of the blocks and ask him to think of a new way to sort. Guide him to think about the different properties of the blocks—size or color. Remember to use your memory strategy!
  8. Continue sorting by different rules. How many ways can you sort the blocks?

Talk About It

There are many ways to sort objects. Talk together about how the blocks might fit into one group and also another. For example, a yellow triangular block can be grouped with other triangles and with other yellow blocks. Practice sorting by different rules to encourage your child to think flexibly. Use one of the strategies to help him remember the new rule.

Take It Further

Try a new game! Sort the blocks by one property and have your child guess what the rule is. Encourage him to observe the properties of the grouped blocks to help him figure out the rule. Then take turns and have your child sort the blocks while you guess the rule. Switching roles will help your child learn to approach a situation in different ways and think flexibly.

Produced by: Funding is provided by:
Sesame Workshop logo Sponsor Logos Image Map
© 2009 Sesame Workshop. "Sesame Street" and its logo are trademarks of Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved. The contents of this website were developed under a grant, #PRU295A050003, from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
“Beaches Blue Lizard logo Chrysler logo “SeaWorld CPB logo Dept. of Education logo

What's this?

PBS Parents Picks

  1. Wild Kratts image

    Wild Kratts App Teaches Young Children How to Care for Animals

    In this app, kids are charge of feeding, washing, and playing with baby animals.

  2. Curious Kids image

    How (And Why) To Encourage Curiosity

    "...when people are curious about something, they learn more, and better."

  3. Gardening Benefits image

    The Benefits of Gardening With Kids

    Don’t let the idea overwhelm you. A few containers and soil in a sunny spot will do.

PBS Parents Newsletter

Find activities, parenting tips, games from your child's favorite PBS KIDS programs and more.