Sorting Cookies Two Ways

Children are encouraged to notice how objects are alike and different in this sorting activity. This School Readiness Activity provides early mathematics thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.

Sorting Cookies Two Ways

Bunny Cakes by Rosemary WellsPurpose/Skills

  • To sort objects according to two characteristics
  • To notice how objects are alike and different
  • To compare objects

Paper cutouts: small brown circles, large brown circles, small white circles, large white circles (to represent large and small chocolate and vanilla cookies), paper plates with one type of cookie attached to each; crayons and paper
Prepare ahead of time.

Literature Suggestion
Read Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells or another book that lends itself to a discussion of cookies.


Ask, "how many of you like cookies?" Have children tell you what kind of cookies they like. "How are cookies alike?" (Good to eat) "How are cookies different?" (Size, color, flavor, texture, icing) Then teach children the "Cookie Chant:"
    I love cookies black and white.
    I love cookies morning, noon, and night.


Present children with the model cookies to sort.
  • Using the think-aloud approach, model sorting for children: "Here's a small chocolate cookie, it goes on the plate with the other small chocolate cookies. Here's a large vanilla cookie. It's different. It's large and it's vanilla. Where does it go? On the plate with the large vanilla cookies."
  • To foster sorting skills, encourage children to talk about their sorting. When children have finished sorting, have them draw a face on one of the cookies to take home. Save the rest of the cookies for the next sorting activity.
Invite children to draw three of their favorite cookies. Label the cookies and put the drawings on a bulletin board or chart paper. Have children help you put all of the chocolate chip cookies together, the sugar cookies together, the chocolate cookies together, and so forth.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can easily sort cookies by size and color.
  • In Process - Child can sort cookies by color, but is hesitant about sizes.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet sort by color or size.

Excerpted from

School Readiness Activity Cards
School Readiness Activity Cards
Pearson Early Childhood
Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.
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