top of page
  • Writer's pictureOur Playful Learning Journey

DIY Colour Sorting Plates + Ideas For Playful Learning

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Here is a really easy way to create your very own colour sorting plates using something you can buy from Kmart. These brightly coloured plates can be used in a range of ways for learning and play and make a lovely project to do with your child.

Kmart bamboo plates painted for colour sorting and play
DIY Colour Sorting Plates made from Kmart Bamboo Plates

We made our own colour sorting plates a while ago. They are useful to have around because they have a large range of colours for colour sorting. Prior to this we have used some coloured plastic bowls from IKEA or some of our little Grapat wooden coloured bowls. These plates are really simple to make and can be used in simple play and learning setups.

What you will need:

  • Bamboo plates or bowls from Kmart or similar

  • Paint - we used two of our watercolour pallets to make all the different colours. One pallet was from IKEA and the other is Micador brand.

  • Paint brushes

What to do:

  1. Choose which colours you will paint your plates. We ended up painting ours to match our Grapat Nins and loose parts.

  2. Paint each plate with your chosen colour. Some of our plates needed more than one coat of the watercolour paints to get the right colour.

  3. Leave to dry.

  4. When dry you are ready to play 😊

Bamboo plates from Kmart
Bamboo plates from Kmart

Here are some ideas for how to use the colour sorting plates:

Colour Sorting

Here we added some of our Grapat and Grimms rainbow coloured wooden loose parts for some colour sorting. This could be made simpler by offering only a few colours at a time and less loose parts for a younger child.

Learning happening here:

  • Colour sorting

  • Ability to visually discriminate between colours

  • Developing the ability to compare and contrast objects

  • Developing language - names of the colours

  • So much more ....

Colour sorting plates with Grimms and Grapat wooden loose parts for colour sorting
Colour sort using Grapat & Grimms wooden loose parts

Nature Colour Hunt

Another way to use the colour plates is to take them outside and go on a hunt around in your backyard or out in nature to find items that match the colours.

Here we only used a selection of the plates that were colours we could find outside. This was a fun little challenge, that involved thinking creatively and searching to find the matching colours.

Learning happening here:

  • Appreciation of nature

  • Ability to search and find a specific colour

  • Vocabulary - to name all the objects found

  • Persistence - to keep searching for hard to find colours

  • Physical activity - moving around outside.

  • And so much more ...

DIY colour sorting plates with coloured items from nature
Nature Colour Hunt

Mandala Colour Sort

This is another colour sorting activity, but this time using Grapat mandala pieces. There are a few colours of our mandala pieces in the sorting tray, set up with some of the colour sorting plates. These mandala pieces can be sorted into the different colours too - e.g. light green, green, dark green etc.

Some of the learning happening here:

  • Building thinking skills

  • Colour sorting

  • Thinking about similarities and differences

  • Reasoning - "This colour goes here because ...."

  • And so much more ...

Colour sorting using Grapat mandala pieces and colour sorting plates
Colour sorting using Grapat mandala pieces

Invitation to Count

Here we have paired up our Freckled Frog tactile number discs with our tray and Grapat mandala pieces for a counting activity.

Learning possibilities here:

  • Colour matching

  • Counting with 1:1 correspondence

  • Matching quantities and numerals

  • Concepts of bigger and smaller numbers + lots more

Counting numbers using Grapat mandala pieces and freckled frog numbers
A brightly coloured invitation to count

This was a fun and easy little DIY project that your child could help make. I hope that you found this blog post helpful and have some ideas of how you might use these colour sorting plates or other coloured bowls etc. for learning.

Let me know in the comments below if you try this or if you have any questions.

Have fun learning in a playful way xx ❤️

For more play and learning ideas visit the home page + sign up to our email list so that you never miss a new blog post.

* Please note the above activities and learning ideas were supervised by an adult. Small parts can be a choking hazard and are recommended for ages 3+.

*Please inspect your bamboo plates before play/using them for any signs of wear and tear and dispose of if unsuitable for use.


To access the FREE VIP PLAYFUL LIBRARY with 40+ free printables
+ find out about the
LATEST BLOG POSTS subscribe here:


You can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page