Preschool Sorting Activity Using Recycled Denim Pockets

This unique sorting activity is easy to make with pockets removed from worn or discarded denim clothing. You'll reduce waste, and kids will have fun counting and sorting as they fill the denim pockets.

Denim pockets sorting activity - Preschool Toolkit

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Teachers and parents love finding ways to recycle materials to provide opportunities for learning through play.

Denim pockets are easy to upcycle for a matching and sorting activity.

  • denim pockets
  • fabric panel
  • dowel
  • objects for sorting 



Denim pockets sorting activity - Preschool Toolkit


We used a sewing machine for this project but you can also sew the pockets on by hand.



1. Remove denim pockets from clothing.

2. Lay the pockets onto a fabric panel. Pin in place.

3. Stitch three sides, leaving the top open. 

4. Fold over the top of the panel to make a rod pocket.

5. Insert a dowel for hanging the panel.


Denim pockets sorting activity - Preschool Toolkit


How to play

Sort colors:

Stitch felt squares of different colors to the pockets or apply with a glue gun. Insert the foam shape into the pocket with the matching color.


Denim pockets sorting activity - Preschool Toolkit


Sort numbers:

Stitch or glue numbers on each pocket. Count and sort items such as craft sticks or feathers.


Denim pockets sorting activity - Preschool Toolkit


Add self-stick stars or other shapes along with the numbers to reinforce counting skills. 

Hang the panel on a wall or door where it is accessible. Kids can choose from a variety of materials you provide, or simply find objects that will fit in the pockets. 

This is a great activity for engaging fine motor, counting and reasoning skills as kids find objects that will fit in the pockets, then sort and count, fill and empty the pockets. 


   Math Activities  Pinterest board


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