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Nature Sort

Nature sort-01


  • Several items from outdoors: seashell, bone, stick, pine cone, rock leaf, etc.
  • Several items from recycling: soda can, plastic water bottle, newspaper, etc.
  • Two large pieces of paper


What to do

1. Beforehand, label one large piece of paper NATURE and add an outdoor picture, label the other RECYCLE and add a picture of a recycling container.

2. With all the children sitting in a circle, introduce the concept of natural and wild places and how to take care of them.

3. Place all of the items in the middle of the circle of children and talk about each one.

4. Show the children the two sorting places and discuss what each means.

5. Let the children take turns choosing an object, labeling it and stating whether it is a natural thing that belongs in wild places or something that should be recycled (not left behind as litter) and placing it on the appropriate paper.

6. When you have sorted all the items, count the ones in each group and ask the children which category has the most.

7. Discuss the different recycling items, and how they might harm wildlife if they were left as litter.

8. Ask the children to think of other ways they can help take care of natural places.


More to do

  • Dramatic play: Set up the dramatic play area with camping items.
  • Science: Invite a Forestry Services employee to visit the classroom to talk about taking care of natural places and how to use these places with minimal impact.
  • Sand and water table: Fill the tactile table with natural items.


-Carla School, Fairplay, CO

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Science Activities for Children 3 to 6
Center: Group or Circle Time
Topic: Flowers/Trees/Nature/Earth
Content: Science
Area: Cognitive
Age: 3 through 4 Years Old
Interaction: Large Group

PDF Available

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