Sorting Seeds by Type: A Fine Motor and Math Activity for Preschool and Toddlers

toddler sorting the seeds into cupcake liners

Sorting Seeds by Type

This is a great tactile activity to celebrate spring as a part of your seed or garden theme. We used old packets of seeds that were lying around the house that probably would not have sprouted if we had tried to plant them. The seeds we used were bean, pea, and cucumber. The cucumber seeds were a bit small and fairly challenging to pick up (impossible with the tweezers). You could use sunflower, pumpkin, or any seed that the child can pick up with a pincer grip. This activity gives the child to work on fine motor and math skills (classification).

Please do not attempt this activity with young toddlers or children who regularly mouth objects.  Supervise the children throughout the duration of this activity due to the small objects (beans and seeds) involved. 

materials for this fine motor activity

You will need:

  • a selection of seeds
  • a bowl
  • a cupcake liner for each type of seed
  • tweezers (optional)

To do the activity:

investigating the seeds with a magnifying glass

Place the seeds into a large bowl. Put one or two seeds of each type into a cupcake liner. Demonstrate sorting at least one of each type of seed into the cupcake liners. Then, allow the child to pick up and investigate the seeds and place them into the cupcake liners.

After a little bit of sorting, I brought out the tweezers. Using the tweezers provided a new challenge, which Little M. enjoyed.

Little M. enjoyed sorting them, then she asked if we could count the seeds. We counted them together, in chorus. There were over 100 seeds there! She also asked for her “sample kit” (a little bug house from the dollar store). She enjoyed picking up the seeds, placing them into the small container, and examining them with the magnifying glass.

Seed Sorting: for toddlers and preschoolers

In the end, this activity was part fine motor, part math, part science, part sensory play; but it was ALL fun!  If you enjoyed this activity, please let me know in the comments and share!  Happy learning.

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