Your toddler's ability to recognise colours starts to rev up at about the age of 18 months. And learning the names of colours – and being able to sort by colour – is a key skill to encourage over the next year or so, starting with the basic red, yellow, blue, green foursome and gradually moving on to other colours.


Sorting games are a great way to encourage learning colours, and offer some handy fine-motor skill practice, too.

MadeForMums crafter Abi created this amazing colour-sorting game for her daughter Maisie, 2, using card, paper cups, pompoms and coloured pens. And it was such a success, she's very kindly shared with us a simple, step-by-step guide to how to make it.

Thank you, Abi and Maisie: we love it!

how to make a colour sorter materials
Pic: Abi Walker

Here's how to make a colour sorter...

You will need:

  • 3 pieces of card
  • Sticky tape
  • 2 paper or plastic cups
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or bottle top (for drawing round)
  • Coloured pens
  • Pompons (or coloured balls or scrunched up coloured paper)
  • Carton or small box

Step 1:

Roll 2 pieces of the card into tubes and secure with sticky tape.

More like this
how to make a colour sorter step 1
Pic: Abi Walker

Step 2:

With a pair of scissors, cut a slit halfway into each tube, about 2.5cm down from the top of the tube. This is where your 'bridge' will slot in. Then poke a hole in the bottom of both cups, and slot 1 tube into each of them, for support.

how to make a colour sorter step 2
Pic: Abi Walker

Step 3:

You should now have two 2 identical towers. Next, cut a rectangular length of your last piece of card to make the ‘bridge’ section that joins the towers together.

how to make a colour sorter step 3
Pic: Abi Walker

Step 4:

Fold your 'bridge' card in half lengthways, then use something round – like the end of a glue stick or a bottle lid – to draw 4 semi-circles on the folded side. Whilst it’s still folded, use the scissors to cut around the lines you've drawn.

how to make a colour sorter step 4
Pic: Abi Walker

Step 5:

You should now be left with a rectangular piece of card with 4 holes in the centre.

how to make a colour sorter step 5

Pic: Abi Walker

Step 6:

Colour the area of the card surrounding each hole with a different colour.

how to make a colour sorter step 6

Pic: Abi Walker

Step 7:

Slot the bridge into the slits on your tower that you cut earlier. Put the pompoms into the carton or box and place it beneath your finished colour sorter. Pass it over to your toddler to do the rest – and relish in 15 minutes of peace and quiet (fingers crossed!)

how to make a colour sorter step 7
Pic: Abi Walker

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