When I was student teaching, my supervising teacher told me that teachers are great at begging, borrowing, and stealing. I hope we're only stealing ideas .. and sometimes random items like jumbo straws at steak and shake (great for a science project showing viscosity). Here's an idea I stole this week.
Sorting cards. I was talking to Lou's teacher for next year (Bee's teacher last year) and she was getting ready to go photocopy some sorting mats. I went right home and made a set. She plans to have kids glue their sorting items to the mats (beans, peas, pom poms, etc), I made a reusable set. I printed them out on old file folders (my poor man's card stock- hubby has a seemly endless supply of old file folders at work). They were the first thing I laminated with my new laminator this weekend!
Lou did a little sorting for me. He decided to sort by color:
And by size:
I'm thinking these would be great for a number of themes and different items to sort. I decided to stick to 4 sections for my 3 year olds. You could do 6-8 sections for older kids. When you have kids sort, don't tell them how you want them to sort. Let them pick the characteristics. Are they going to go by size, color, shape, etc? They may surprise you and come up with some really creative ways to sort.