Sorting Bins Coding Activity

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Did you know that you can teach your kids to code while keeping your home clean and organized at the same time? With this Sorting Bins Coding Activity, you can do both in no time!

Sorting toys with toy bins

I don’t know about you, but I feel like my boys’ toy collection grows on its own. And just when I feel like they might be ready to part with something, it becomes their favorite toy all over again.

Sorting bins were big when my boys were tiny as a way to teach them small motor skills and colors, textures, etc. Now, we use sorting as a way to not only clean up after ourselves but reinforce the coding skills of if-then and pattern recognition.

Coding Concepts Learned

Students will learn about branching in this coding activity.

Branching

Branching means checking conditions which determine the choice being made. It means making a decision depending on what is happening or what has happened.

List of Materials

  • All your kid’s toys (or the ones that need to be organized)
  • Sorting bins, buckets, or boxes
  • Colored construction paper
  • Tape

How to Play the Sorting Bins Coding Activity

STEP 1

My boys and I pick up all the toys on the floor, shelves, etc., and put them into one or two big boxes. If I can see it, it’s getting picked up!

STEP 2

We look inside the box and discuss similarities and differences. This helps us decide which items are similar and why.

STEP 3

We start applying some “computer logic”. If something has wheels, it goes in Box A. If something is fluffy, it goes in Box B. We keep going until we have a place for everything.

STEP 4

You can go as far with this idea as you have boxes for. I have a friend who went so far as to have her girls separate out their doll accessories into items for heads vs. items for feet!

The nice thing about this activity is that Code.org just came out with AI for Oceans – which is super similar! In their game, the coder teaches the computer which items are fish and which items are trash. 

I am all about multi-tasking, so this game is a huge win for me! Organizing, cleaning up, and learning about computational thinking all in one!

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