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Goodnight moon sorting activity

My son’s bedtime is always between 6:30-7:30, depending on what we’ve done that day and how tired he is. We always have the same routine of shower, get changed, brush teeth, and read a bedtime story. In fact, we have done this routine so much that he has pretty much memorized all of the books! And there are a gazillion good bedtime books out there, but the one that stands out most in my mind is Goodnight Moon by Maragaret Wise Brown. It’s a classic bedtime story, not to mention it is well written with preschool vocabulary and early literacy in mind – which is one of the reasons it’s also included in the Before Five in a Row toddler curriculum. The pictures are brilliant too- they show everyday items found in a typical house. My son can point and name virtually every item in the pictures because we’ve read (and re-read) the story so many times- I think that means it’s time to incorporate the story into a fun preschool sorting activity!
  • Various small toys (some will be items found in the book, others should not be in the book)
  • Two pails
  • Goodnight Moon Book (the lap edition is our favorite one to read at bedtime because of it’s large size! We used the travel size book for this activity)

Sorting is a great early math skill (we previously used sorting skills to make our own fishing game). While it doesn’t involve numbers, it gives kids an understanding of how to organize information (also a great science skill!). This activity is especially well rounded because it also includes early literacy tools (like recall and reference skills) in a way preschoolers can understand.

I labeled the pails “In the story” and “Not in the story” because even though Cannon can’t read yet, it’s important for him to see and understand that when he sees print, there is a message being conveyed behind those jumbles of letters. I pointed out what each pail said and let him choose toys from the table to place in the pails.

preschool sorting activity
 For a similar sorting activity, be sure to check out our Nursery Rhyme Listening Sort!
We had to look back in the book a few times to help with the sort. Some of the easier ones were the bear and cow.
Preschool literacy activity with the book

While Cannon wasn’t quite ready go solo with this activity, we had a good time sorting it out together. And I know it’s an activity we can come back to as many times as he’d like without losing interest (if the number of times we read the book is any indication of his interest, then this will be a regular activity in our house!)

Goodnight Moon preschool sorting activity

Did you enjoy this activity? Make sure to check our other literature inspired activities like There was an old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Project (shared over 14,ooo times!)

Goodnight moon activity