The popular children’s book, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, inspired us to get learning with our very own shoes! We gathered together all kinds of shoes from around the house and came up with tons of shoe sorting fun in this math activity for kids.
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The Preschool Book Club is back this week with creative activities for kids inspired by the story, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. Every other week we’ll all be sharing some fun activities for kids all based the book of the week. (Be sure to check out all my activities for kids inspired by children’s books!)
Math for Kids: Shoe Sorting Inspired by Pete the Cat
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes was only published four years ago, but has quickly become one of the most popular books for preschoolers and kindergarteners. If you’ve yet to read the story, it’s about a really cool cat, Pete, who wears his new, white shoes out on a walk. All throughout the story he steps in various things that change the color of his shoes. Kids readily relate to the story and quickly begin to chime in with the repetitive text throughout the book.
There really is so much learning that can springboard from this story- colors, color words, counting, sequencing, and even foods. Theo (my 3 year old) and I took a somewhat different direction and decided to see what we could learn by looking at all our own shoes in this fun sorting activity!
Materials for Shoe Sorting
Basically all you need is lots of shoes! We collected shoes from everyone in our family of four and had plenty to work with. If you’re a classroom teacher, you could use the shoes the students were wearing on the day you do the activity.
How We Sorted Shoes
Before we began sorting the shoes, Theo and I discussed all the things we noticed about the shoes- the colors, the designs, the textures etc.
Since sorting is a newish activity for Theo, I started out by suggesting we find all the shoes that were his favorite color. I asked him what his favorite color was (because it changes everyday), and we then put all the shoes that were blue in one pile, and all the shoes that weren’t blue in another pile. We counted how many shoes were in our blue pile, and then we put them all back.
I then asked Theo if he could think of a different way we could sort the shoes. He wanted to sort the shoes by who they belonged to. He started by making a pile of his own shoes, and then we sorted the rest- Mommy’s shoes and Lucy’s shoes.
We did this for quite a while, thinking up different ways to sort the shoes!
Other Ways You Might Sort Shoes
There are so many ways you can sort shoes. I was always surprised by how creative my students would get! Here’s just a few examples to get you started:
- How the shoes close (laces, velcro, elastic, or no closure)
- Types of shoes (boots, sandals, flip flops, tennis shoes)
- Shoes good for running (tennis shoes, soccer shoes)
- By texture (smooth, bumpy etc.)
- Shoes with heels and shoes that are flat
- Designs on the soles of the shoes
- Patterns and designs on the shoes (stripes, pictures, letters, etc.)
Extend the Learning
Once children become comfortable with sorting, there’s so many other ways to extend the learning!
- Use chalk to create circles on the ground for sorting shoes. You can even introduce venn diagrams with this method!
- Choose someone to sort the shoes on his/her own. Then have other kids try to guess what trait the child used for sorting.
- Use sidewalk chalk (or painter’s tape if you are inside) to create a bar graph of the various shoes.
- Organize the shoes by size. Can you put all the shoes in order from shortest to longest? You could even introduce the use of a ruler!
- Trace the shoes onto paper to compare the sizes.
- Do crayon rubbings of all the different patterns on the soles of the shoes.
More Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes Activities
Be sure to check out all the creative Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes activities created by the other members of The Preschool Book Club Series!
Walking Sticks Inspired by Pete the Cat from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Pete the Cat Feet Painting Activity from Homegrown Friends
Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes Cookies from Sugar Aunts
Pete the Cat Painted Watermelon Shoes from Mama Papa Bubba