Color Sorting – Homemade Homeschool

I revamped a couple projects over the weekend, made some new things, and took lots of pictures – all of which I’m still working on editing.  So, stay tuned this week for several more Homemade Homeschool posts!


Today we’re going to talk about colors – lots of colors – how much I love colors – and other fun things related to colors.  One of the things I’m trying to get Inara to realize on a subconcious level is that just because you say red doesn’t mean you’re necisarily talking about RED.  But it could be any number of colors that fall within the red spectrum – a lot like how I talked about back in this post on color.  I don’t want to confuse her sweet little brain at this point by naming each and every shade of color something differant, so we are still sticking with the basic 10 – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, White, Black and Brown, but I’m trying to use variations of color within those bounds.  Hopefully this doesn’t backfire on my compleatly and when I start to introduce Scarlet, Magenta, Crimson, Raspberry, and Terra Cotta she doesn’t get frustrated or try and to correct me that they are all red – which I suppose is in fact also true.

So, now that I’ve talked in a circle about colors, shades, and tones (did you all enjoy the art lesson for today?) let me tell you about our first color sorting activity.  I will fully admit that this idea is a combination of this (which I totally want and plan to make) and something I’ve seen done (and probably did myself at that age) many times.  But, since when I posted pictures of it on Facebook I got more comments than I have in a long time on any one thing I decided I’d share it – since it is totally crazy simple!


This is the picture I put on Facebook that genorated all the interest – it’s also what Inara found in one of her workboxes durring school the next day:

It was really simple to make, I simply cut apart part of our 18 egg carton, painted the inside with our ten colors, and then found objects from around the house (mainly my craft stuff and our homeschool supplies) for those colors and put them in the bowl.  The idea is simple, take the items out of the bowl and sort them into their coordinating color in the egg carton.

To give you an idea of what I put in there for her to sort – lots of Pom Pom ball things (I found out after the fact the big huge jumbo (2 inch?) ones take up a tad too much space in the egg carton and I ended up taking them out of the asortment for future use); snips of pipe cleaners, all around 2 inches but just eyeballed when cut in differant colors; buttons, lots of buttons, differant sizes shapes colors everything; pieces of ribbon’ again about two or three inches in length in differant styles and cuts; ric rac; elestic; fabric scraps; half a cotton swab; and other random stuff.


Inara did fabulously sorting all the colors and liked it so much she got it out herself to play with later in the week.  Seeing that it was a success, I decided to make a better version.  So now you get to see the process. 🙂

Just click through to find out how to make one too!





1 nice egg carton – the eggs we buy come either in styrofoam or claer plastic depending on where I’m shopping and if my budget lets me buy cage free or not.  So I picked up this egg carton (actually two of them) for 35 cents at the local feed store because I knew I wanted a cardboard one.

Paint – you need pain in your 10 colors – I didn’t have a “standard” blue or any brown acrylic craft paint (which has since been remided lol) so I used pastel blue acrylic and brown tempra from Inara.  Incidently when I made this the first time I used all tempra paint (the crayola kids washable paints to be specific) for everything except black since it doesn’t come in black.  It worked just fine if that’s all you’ve got – I knew I wanted acrylic craft and I had almost all of it I needed so it didn’t cost me anything.  Otherwise, you can get acrylics at any craft store and depending on the brand for less than a dollar a bottle.  Today I got the blue and brown I wanted/needed at Michael’s using their store brand (Creatology) it cost me 59 cents a bottle – thats totally afordable!

Scisors (optional)

Cotton Swabs – one for each color of paint, at least

Bits and bobs to use for the actual sorting activites.  Seriously here, use whatever you can dig up around the house – there is no need to spend any money here!


my paint, just because I think it looks pretty


To start (OPTIONAL) cut the top and flap off the egg carton so you're left with only the bottom part with the actual egg cups in it.


If you chose to cut yours apart (and you don't have to, I just think it stores better this way) you should now have something like this, three seporate parts. You only need the bottom recycle the other two.


One row at a time (in this case I started on top) add your colors in any order you chose - I, of course, went with rainbow order ROYGBV (I skipped the Indigo) because it looks purdy. 😉


using one cotton swab per color spread the blobs of paint out along the bottom of each cup and up the sides as high as you would like to go. You can just pain the bottom, you can go all the way to the top. Personaly I liked the look of about half the cups being painted.


make sure to use seporate cotton swabs for each color, otherwise the colors will mix and become muddied - we don't want that.


admire how pretty your rainbow looks before moving on to the next step.


Again, put a small amount of paint (it's easier to add more, it's harder to take away too much) into the bottom cups of your egg carton using whichever four colors you haven't used, in whatever order you want. Please ignor the fact that the brown looks like a tiny turd and move on.


Again using individual cotton swabs, spread the paint out around the cups until it looks how you want. Admire the pretty colors. If anything isn't drying as bright as you want, go ahead and do a light second coat following the same method.


put your carton somewhere out of reach and out of the way so it can dry for 12 - 24 hours


take it down, think how pretty it looks, smile


When they aren't in use, all my color manipulatives are in a ziplock bag in my "color manipulatives" storage box along with my egg carton and other color related items.


That’s it – SUPER easy, and possibly for the huge amount of $0!  Like I said Inara really liked doing this and had little to no trouble with.  If you want to add another element to it, you could have your child pick up the individual items with a pair of tongs, tweezers, or chop sticks to work on fine motor skills as well as color recognition.  I tried to do tweezers with Inara, but it was still too much of a challage for her and she had a more enjoyable time just picking things up with her fingers and putting them in the egg cups.


So – there you have it folks, a super inexpensive (free?) homemade homeschool item that kids on almost any level could handle so long as they can pick up and grasp the items you chose to give them for sorting.  I’m thinking ages 2 and up with supervion, maybe even 18 months or younger depending on the child.


Hope you like it!  I’ll be back later this week with several more great things I hope you like enough to try!




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