Math Manipulatives: Rainbow Counter Color and Size Sorting

My preschooler loves to play with our frog and bear counters to practice color and size sorting! Sorting and separating rainbow counters or rainbow bear counters helps preschoolers with color and shape discrimination, and playing with physical counters or beads encourages fine motor skills development.

The ones I have are also beads, so my daughter loves stringing them into a necklace. We took turns making a pond full of colorful lily pads that needed the right colored frogs on them. She asked to practice color and size sorting again and again!

Practice sorting by color with rainbow counters for a hands-on mathematical thinking activity for preschool. Bear counters and frog counters free printable is included!

Color and Size Sorting with Frog Counters

Color sorting is the most obvious way to sort for a preschooler. We've already matched colorful shoes along with Pete the Cat! As I presented the different colored "lily pads" for my daughter to sort the frogs onto, she quickly got in to the challenge. I think I'll include this in the Rainbow Busy Box next time I set it up for my little one. 

Once I pointed out the differences in sizes, Strawberry also loved sorting them out by size. Because of her creative mind, small and medium became "babies" and "big brothers and sisters," and the large frogs were the mamas and papas. My daughter loved to put the mamas and babies together. I had to make larger sized lily pads so the whole family could live together in our room-sized pond.

My older child wanted to play too, but he wanted to incorporate a game into our color and size sorting. My daughter insisted it be her Christmas present game: Spot It! Alphabet. Whenever we would find a "letter match" in the Spot It! Alphabet game, we'd find a frog to return to his home (i.e., his lily pad)! It was a fun way to incorporate the frog sorting in to yet another learning game.


Finding Rainbow Color and Size Sorters

As I said, I love these frogs. I believe Learning Resources stopped making the frogs, as I can only refer you to them secondhand on Amazon and elsewhere.

However, so if you are looking for some small rainbow fun, you can also play with the Learning Resources Three Bear Family Rainbow Counters or any other animal counters


Elementary-Level deas for Rainbow Counters

For my older child, I also made some simple pattern cards to use with the rainbow frogs. Patterning is an important skill for developing mathematical thinking skills and critical thinking in general.

Again, bears or any other rainbow counters would work well with these same cards! You can get the pattern cards in my TPT store or my shop.

Here are other ideas for using rainbow counters with kids of all ages:

  • one-to-one correspondence
  • addition
  • subtraction
  • greater than/less than (compare numbers of frogs on lily pads or in the caves)
  • multiplication (make equal groups of the frogs)
  • division (how many frogs per lily pad if you make equal groups)
Practice sorting by color with rainbow counters for a hands-on mathematical thinking activity for preschool. Bear counters and frog counters free printable is included!

Get More Rainbow Activity Ideas

See more rainbow activities on my blog and in my shop! Then, scroll down for a round-up of other rainbow counter activities.


Practice sorting by color with rainbow counters for a hands-on mathematical thinking activity for preschool. Bear counters and frog counters free printable is included!
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