Crafts & activities

Make a Willy Wonka shape sorter

Learning shapes can be made extra fun for your youngster with this preschool game inspired by Roald Dahl's Shapes

Puffin team
A photo of the Willy Wonka shape sorter being used by a young child. The little girl is holding a pair of plastic tweezers and picking out sweets of the bowl
Image: Inspire My Play

Willy Wonka needs help sorting all his sweets! And your little one can help him out in this shape sorter game. It's very easy to make – just follow along below on how to craft this great sensory activity with your child.

TIP! For an added fine-motor challenge, give your little learner a pair of plastic tweezers to pick up the shapes they find.

You will need:

·   Rice (coloured with purple food colouring if desired)

·   Cardboard

·   Tissue paper

·   Jars/pots

·   Sticky tape

·   Plastic children's tweezers (optional)

Download the activity sheet or follow the instructions below:

How to make the shape sorter:

1. If you would like the rice to be colourful, do this first of all so that it has time to dry. The easiest way to colour rice is to place some in a sandwich bag with a few drops of food colouring. Scrunch up the bag until the rice is covered in the food colouring and then lay it out on a baking tray to dry.

A photo of a big white bowl filled with purple rice
Image: Inspire My Play

2. In the meantime, you can make the sweets. Cut out a variety of different shapes from the cardboard (you could use the shapes in Roald Dahl's Shapes for inspiration). Cut the pieces of tissue paper so that they are twice the size and then use these to cover the cardboard shapes.

A photo of tissue paper, cardboard sweet shapes, and the sweet shapes wrapped in colourful tissue paper
Image: Inspire My Play

3. Collect up some old jars or pots and label them with one of the shape sweets.

A photo of the cardboard sweets in separate jars
Image: Inspire My Play

4. Mix up and hide the shapes in the rice. Add a pair of plastic tweezers to the game if you like.

A photo of the final result which includes the bowl filled with purple rice and the cardboard sweets
Image: Inspire My Play

5. Now the fun begins! Ask your little one to search for the shapes in the rice and sort them into the right container.

A photo of the final result which includes the bowl filled with purple rice, the cardboard sweets and the cardboard sweets in jars
Image: Inspire My Play

Craft activity and images created by Inspire My Play, visit @inspiremyplay for more great crafts for kids.

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