Are you looking for a simple idea to start teaching your child number sense and maths? Then this apple match and sort activity using mini-erasers is a great activity that you can set up and explore alongside your child. So here you go apple match and sort.

Apple matching and sorting pinnable image using mini-erasers for fall math center

Matching and Sorting Activities

Did you know that before children count they need to recognise objects that are the same and different?

Matching them together and then sorting them out.

same and different with mini apple erasers. 2 green apples and the odd red and yellow moved away

Knowing what are the same leads to grouping them and sorting them which then can be identified as having more or less of something than others.

Apple Manipulatives

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Whether you are having an apple week, focusing on the letter A or an autumn/fall-themed month including some apple manipulatives for number work and maths is a great idea.

collection and red, green and yellow mini apple erasers from the USA to use in a math activity with toddlers and preschoolers

We have used a set of apple mini-erasers that our friend in the USA sent us but a set like these Learning Resources Apples (US Amazon, UK Amazon) would also work as well. You could also create some paper ones but younger toddlers and preschoolers may find them difficult to pick up.

Apple Match and Sorting Activity

Depending on the age of your child you may want to start with 2 or 3 different variations of the apples.

You could use red vs green, or red, green, and yellow apples then it’s time to match.

Toddlers and Young Preschoolers

With your little ones lets match the pairs, pick out 2 matching apples from your collection i.e. 2 red and 2 green.

matching 2 yellow apple mini-erasers with preschoolers

Then lay them out and ask your little one to find the matching ones. Use language like

  • Which 2 are the same?
  • Can you find the one that matches this one?
  • Is there another one like this?
two red apple mini-erasers matched together on a white background

As they get the idea you can then introduce the 3rd one and they can match the 3 pairs together.

matching apples activity center for tot school, colors of apples of the mini-erasers

By starting out just changing the colour and only using 2 to match the pairs you have a simple activity that you can focus on doing alongside your little one.

image for apple playdough mats on Rainy Day Mum

Preschooler Apple Match

Once they have the hand of matching the pairs introduce more and find all the ones that are the same.

set of apple mini-erasers to sort and find the matching pairs as well as the odd one out

Hold up one and ask to find the same, the ones that match and find the odd one out.

finding the odd one out - which apple doesn't have a matching on a simple math game for fall with toddlers and preschoolers

Apple Sorting for Preschoolers

You will find that they naturally start to move the apples that match into piles of the same this is sorting.

sorting apples into piles of the same colour and same number

A small basket, even a picture of a basket may help them place them.

As they start to sort them into piles start with equal numbers – they are all the same.

more or less when sorting apples into colour piles with preschoolers

Then vary them so some piles have More than and some have Less than others make it really noticeable at first and slowly get it closer and closer to equal.

Moving on from Apple Matching and Sorting

If your confident that your child gets the matching and sorting activities then it’s time to work on numbers.

1 red apple on the tree

Our FREE Apple Tree Playdough Counting Mats are ideal for the next step and although we’ve used playdough you can easily use the same apple manipulatives that we used.

apple tree fine motor and math centre activity tray counting apples onto the trees

You can also make your own math tray for your little ones. We made these apple tree math centres to work on counting out numbers 1 to 5 on our apple trees and kept it out all week.

Our Apple Counting Book Recommendation

Want to read alongside this activity then we recommend this Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins (US Amazon, UK Amazon) as a great apple and counting book to share with your toddler and preschoolers.

More Apple Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Have a look at some of these other fun ideas for apples to play and learn with your toddlers and preschoolers

Pinnable image for matching and sorting with apples number skills activity for preschoolers and toddlers
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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