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Grouping Objects by two or more different characteristics

“Birds of a Feather Flock Together”

Before teaching this skill, your child should be consistently sorting by one characteristic first (e.g., putting all yellow objects together, all red objects together, etc.).


A group of objects that can be matched by two different characteristics (e.g., shapes that differ in both color and shape, size and color, or shape and size). Have at least 5 of each object to establish a pattern.

  • Put one of each object on the table (e.g., one big red circle, one little red circle, one big yellow circle, one little circle).
  • Space them far enough apart that each one is totally separate.
  • Offer an object from your hand (e.g., little yellow circle) and ask, “Where is the other one like this?” Your child can identify the location of the identical object by pointing to or by pointing and verbally stating (e.g., “Here it is”).
  • If your child does not respond, place the object on top of the correct one, saying “See, it goes here. They are the same”.
  • Encourage your child to place the next one independently, giving him a different object (e.g., big red circle).
  • Continue to use prompting either verbally when necessary (e.g., “No, they are not the same. Look again.”), or by physically prompting (e.g., pointing to the correct object).
  • Continue until all the objects are placed in the correct pile.
  • This activity can be changed by using different objects with varied characteristics to make sure your child has generalized the skill (big/little, two colors), (long/short, two colors), (warm/cold, round/flat objects).
  • A more advanced activity would be to use objects differing in two different characteristics in pictures.