This was a "Mom Project" that I finally finished up so that we could do it today. It was a hit.
Materials Needed: Sorting templates printed out on cardstock, scissors, tape, empty boxes, and a bowl. I created the template page below to use for this project. Comment if you want a copy and I can email you the pdf file. After I printed out the templates, I colored them in. You will probably want to laminate them as well.
1. Color and cut out the sorting templates.
2. Gather some empty Pasta Roni boxes (or another type of box) and cut off the top flaps.
3. Tape the animal/plant category templates to the front of the boxes.
4. Put your sorting pieces into a bowl for easy access.
5. Talk to your little one about the categories.
Statements I said while we looked at pictures:
Plants grow from the ground, We eat some plants, Some plants grow fruit. Plants get energy and food from the sun, ground, and air. This website is great to show kids to help them visualize some plants that they know.
Animals are alive. They move and they eat plants and/or animals to get energy and stay alive. You can look at pictures of animals here as you discuss this category.
6. Start sorting! You may have to model a few at first. My son just got going right away... but sometimes I had to remind him to look closely at the card. At one point I accidentally switched where the boxes were and that caused some confusion and required him to look at everything a lot more carefully.
7. Dump out each box once you're done sorting and start again!
We also practice moving around like the animals...
and growing like the plants.