Land, Air, and Water Sort

Three mason jars labeled water, air, and land with coordinating pictures

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to compare and categorize objects, materials, or events, use reasoning and problem-solving skills, as well as understand and use a growing vocabulary.

Materials Needed:

  • Three small, clear jars, cups, or containers
  • Land, air, water labels (in attached PDF)
  • Land, air, water photo cards (in attached PDF)
  • Optional: Globe or map or map link (in attached PDF)

Participants: This activity can be completed independently, but can also be an opportunity for adult/child interaction.

Step 1: Earth is made from land, air, and water. Take a look at the map or globe (or look at this example on the internet: World Map Link). Can you find land, air, and water on the map?
Step 2: Print out the included labels and photo cards (attached PDF). Cut each of them out. Put one of the labels for Land, Air, and Water on each jar or container.
Step 3: Collect examples of land, air, and water in each of your jars that match each of the labels.
Step 4: Use the photo cards that you cut out in Step 2 and match them to each of your jars. How do you know which card goes with each jar?

Extension: Adults can create their own matching cards, using words instead of pictures. Have your child identify which card goes with each jar using their reading skills rather than the pictures. You can also have your child create their own matching cards. Can you think of other examples of land, water, or air? Write those words or draw pictures of your ideas and match them to the correct jar!

Bright Horizons
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Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
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Three mason jars labeled water, air, and land with coordinating pictures