Colour Sorting Activity for Toddlers – 5 Minute Craft


Our #LockdownLearning series aims at bringing you quick and easy DIY activities to keep your children learning, while having fun and keeping you sane.

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Colour Sorting Activity

Colour Sorting Activity for Toddlers - 5 Minute Craft 1

This colour sorting activity is fantastic for toddlers just learning to identify colours, but also for those a bit older to use as a sorting activity.

You’ll Need:

We’re in lockdown, so this is very simple and you can literally throw something together from whatever you have lying around.

I used:

  • Empty toilet paper rolls
  • White sheet paper (optional)
  • Paint (can be replaced with coloured paper)
  • Craft sticks (replace with Popsicle sticks, pick-up sticks, sticks from your garden)
  • Empty toothpaste box (optional/replace with any carton to suit your design shape – to be used as a base bord.
  • Sticky tape (glue alternative)
  • Scissors

How to:

Watch this quick video on how to put your Colour Sorting Activity together, or follow my step-by-step instructions below.

Create Your Own

The shape of your Colour Sorting Activity is not set in stone. You will have to decide on the shape early on though, because that will depend on how many empty toilet rolls you’ll need, each in a different colour as well as the side of your base board.

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First Attempt

As a quick fix, late one evening I took a stationary organiser I had previously made out of toilet rolls and painted it to use as a Colour Sorting Activity for my 2 year old. What a disaster!

The finger paint didn’t work well on the roll carton, so I did a black base coat first, which made it look even worse.
Which is why I decided to cover the rolls in white sheet paper first, this time around.

As you can see the previous attempt was a flower shape. This time I decided to go for something plain and simple, that I can stick to the wall to keep her busy.

Step 1: Undercover

Cover the roll in white A5 paper (I just cut an A4 in half) and stick down with sticky tape.

Covering empty toilet roll with white sheet paper to create colour sorting activity for toddlers during #LockdownLearning
Using sticky tape on colour sorting activity for toddlers during #LockdownLearning

Tuck the sides of the paper inside the empty toilet roll on both ends.

Folding sides of colour sorting activity craft for toddlers during #LockdownLearning


  • If your paint is visible on the toilet rolls, no need to cover in paper first.
  • If you have coloured paper, just cover the toilet rolls with different colour paper instead of painting.

Step 2: Paint my Love

Paint each paper covered toilet roll in a different colour. Use your child’s colour knowledge (or your supplies) as a guide. You can always add to it, or make another, later.

Painting empty toilet rolls and craft sticks for colour sorting activity for toddlers during #lockdownlearning

This is also the time to paint the sticks/objects going to be used for sorting. I rummaged through old school projects and scavenged a few used craft sticks. You’ll see some still has some different colour glitter on, or a random piece of glue I couldn’t get off. Use whatever you can find. Here are a few ideas of things to use during your #LockdownLearning period:

  • Craft sticks / old Popsicle sticks
  • Straws
  • Sticks you’ve collected from the garden
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Lego blocks (No painting needed)

Step 3: Stuck up

Time to put your Colour Sorting Activity together.
Using glue or sticky tape, stick together your now painted empty toilet rolls in whatever shape you’ve decided. Remember that each colour should be fully visible to your toddler.

When using sticky tape, tape the empty toilet rolls together on both ends adding each roll till you’ve completed your desired shape.

Colour Sorting Activity for Toddlers - 5 Minute Craft 11

Step 4: All about that Base

The final part of of your Colour Sorting Activity, is creating your base board.

It doesn’t NEED a base board, but then you’re child will only be able to play with it while sitting at a table or keeping it flat on the floor so the sorting sticks don’t just fall through.

I prefer a baseboard for three reasons:

  1. Flexibility – they can carry it around or I can stick it to the wall.
  2. Storage – it is easier to store everything together, by just popping all the sticks inside the Colour Sorting Activity.
  3. Durability – the base board increases the durability of the design.

Your baseboard can be anything that closes one side of your Colour Sorting Activity.
For the flower shape I used a piece of cardboard from the packaging of one of my kids’ Melissa and DougColour Sorting Activity for Toddlers - 5 Minute Craft 12 toys.

Colour Sorting Activity for Toddlers - 5 Minute Craft 13

This time, I was lucky enough to find an empty toothpaste box that was the perfect size for me to just slip my 4-roll Colour Sorting Activity in.

So I cut the top off stuck the open end closed and painted it.

Creating colour sorting activity during #LockdownLearning with empty toiletrolls and empty toothpaste box.

With that, my Colour Sorting Activity was completed! I just slipped my activity inside the toothpaste box – I didn’t even bother to stick it down as it seemed secure enough.

Colour sorting activity made from empty toilet rolls and empty toothpaste box

Popped my colour sticks inside and voila!

Colour Sorting activity 5 minute craft

Ideally you’d want multiple sticks of each colour, I just did one each to save some time. If one of each is all you have right now, that will work just as well.

I hope this activity will add to your #LockdownLearning fun. Please share your Colour Sorting Activities in the comments.

For another exciting learning activity, check out the Word Building Activity.

2 Thoughts to “Colour Sorting Activity for Toddlers – 5 Minute Craft”

  1. Wilna Gerber

    Love the video Steffie – nicely done!!

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