September 22, 2023

Rainbow Turkey Sort

Miranda, the Early Intervention Mama
Miranda, the Early Intervention Mama

Miranda is a mama to two young girls and a self proclaimed child development nerd. After spending 13 years serving families of babies and toddlers in early intervention, she recently left her position with Early On in Ingham County to care for her daughters and build her own small business, MI Early Parenting, LLC. Miranda currently provides parent and me enrichment classes and courses while offering robust Instagram and Facebook accounts  filled with tips on parenting the 0-5 crowd. In her spare time she enjoys baking, creating, sharing a meal with friends or family, ,and working hard to keep her pandemic house plants alive.

I know it isn’t St. Patrick’s Day, but my daughters love rainbows and so do I.  Here is a colorful and fun activity to get your child’s cognitive skills working in an active and playful way as you head into Thanksgiving.


Begin by drawing a turkey body onto a large piece of white paper.  Craft paper works well, but if you would like to go larger (why not?) go ahead and use the blank side of a sheet of thick wrapping paper for your turkey.  For a sturdier activity that lasts longer, attach it to cardboard and cover with clear contact paper or tape. Next, using a colored marker/crayon/pen draw a feather behind the turkey, and then add one for each color of the rainbow. The final step is to have your child sort items and place them on the corresponding color of the turkey. 

Tips on Color Matching:

As an experienced parent educator, I’m often asked how to help children learn to identify and label colors. While you might be inclined to start with saying that’s red, that’s blue, and then asking your child “what color?”, I suggest a different method. Below is a progression of skills, and once your child masters the first skill, you can move on to the next until they have mastered being able to use expressive language to label a color correctly.

1.      Match colors one to one.  
– For instance, one purple sock matches with one purple sock.

2.      Sort different items by color. 
– Maybe you take a pile of different colored socks and allow them to sort them into blue, red, and white piles before matching them.

3.      Ask them to select a specific color.
– You might ask them to find a white sock from them pile.

4.      Ask them “What color is this?”
-Finally, you can hold up a sock and ask, “What color is this one” and they should have the skills to do so.  If they don’t respond and you’ve given them enough wait time for processing, you can answer the question yourself. For example, “It is red!”

Here are a few modifications to spice it up if you want some extra fun.

1.      For the child who needs to move: Give your child a small bag and together go collect several brightly colored objects. Return to your turkey and have the child sort them.

2.      For the child who likes to compete: Have your child work to sort many items onto the corresponding colors and “beat the clock” by using a timer or a special song.

3.      For the child interested in counting: Instead of colors, add dots to each feather representing a number and have the child work on one-to-one correspondence adding a toy to each dot

4.      For the emerging reader: Instead of coloring in the turkey, write the appropriate color in black marker and have your child read the word to sort.

5.      For the artist: Sort art materials such as colorful stickers, sticky foam, feathers, or torn paper to glue to the corresponding color.

Remember, with a little imagination one activity can always be modified to meet the needs of your child.  It is these tiny tweaks that usually keep learning fun, engaging, and help a child focus and attend to an activity for a longer period.

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