Colour sorting with beads

by Fellowship Agency November 28, 2018

Practice sorting and classifying with this simple #WhatsInMyTray activity that is easy to organise and makes use of items found in and around the classroom. This will also help with familiarity and recognition of different colours.

You will need:

  • 2 x Shallow Gratnells (F1) trays
  • 1 x Gratnells custom foam
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Assorted beads – different colours, shapes and sizes are ideal


  • Fill one shallow Gratnells (F1) tray with assorted beads
  • Place a Gratnells custom foam inside a shallow Gratnells (F1) tray
  • Push various pipe cleaners into the custom foam so that they’re standing vertically

What to do:

  • From the tray full of different beads, individually select them one by one and colour match them to a pipe cleaner in the second tray
  • Feed each bead onto the matched pipe cleaner until each one is full.

Other things to try…

  • As well as classifying by colour, you could also classify based on bead type, size, shape, etc.

Health & Safety

As with all Gratnells Learning Rooms What’s In My Tray Activities, you should carry out your own risk assessment prior to undertaking any of the activities or demonstrations. In particular, small beads are a choking hazard so be cautious when working with small children.