Preschool Sorting Activity Using Recycled Denim Pockets

Simple math games are easy to provide with this homemade pocket organizer. Recycle a few denim pockets for this fun sorting and counting activity.

preschool math homemade sorting game

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Do you have a well-worn pair of denims you're about to send to the landfill? This project is a great way to recycle that item of clothing, while creating a fun activity for your preschooler.

Simply remove the pockets from denim jeans and you've got a homemade sorting game.

This DIY project is a fun way to start a conversation around recycling with your kids. This might include repurposing or recycling clothing in the following ways:

  • sending to donation boxes or nearly-new retail
  • sharing with friends and relatives
  • reusing as cleaning rags or drop cloths
  • keeping on hand as kids paint shirts

As teachers and parents, we appreciate finding ways to recycle materials to provide opportunities for learning through play. A pocket chart is a fun way to recycle denim jeans.

Activities that promote counting and matching in fun ways help preschoolers practice beginning math skills. 


Related: Roundup of Activities Using Denim


Preschool math pocket organizer

Supplies for pocket panel

  • denim pockets
  • fabric panel
  • dowel 

Instructions for homemade pocket panel

We used a sewing machine for this project, but you can sew the pockets on by hand. The panel is easy to make with or without a sewing machine.


Recycle denim pockets for math games with preschoolers


Step 1. Fold over the top of the fabric to make a rod pocket.

Stitch in place by hand or on a sewing machine.

Step 2. Lay the denim pockets onto the fabric panel. Pin in place.

Stitch three sides of each pocket, leaving the top edge open. 

Step 3. Insert a dowel for hanging the pocket panel.

Math games to play with a pocket organizer


Math for kids using denim pockets


1. 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.


Preschool sorting and counting math games


2. Sort numerals:

Stitch or glue numerals on each pocket.

Collect items that will fit in the pockets for counting and sorting, such as feathers, craft sticks or cards.


prek math homemade activity with recyclables


3. More ways to play:

Decorate pockets to reinforce counting skills.

  • We used corresponding self-adhesive stars and foam numerals.

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 in the home or classroom that will fit in the pockets. 


Your well-worn jeans just got a new use! Before sending them to the landfill, create this denim pockets game.

It's a great activity for engaging fine motor, counting and reasoning skills.

Everybody in the early learning community loves a simple DIY, especially when it can be done with supplies on hand. This is one project that does just that.


 recycle denim for a preschool math activity



Math Activities  Pinterest board




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