Lids | Activities | WTTW Kids Learn & Play

Students will use teamwork and problem solving to sort and match lids to the correct sized jar. Multiple rounds of group play will allow teams to formulate a plan to become quicker in subsequent rounds.

Cartoon cat showing cartoon dog a bug in a jar

Activity Prep

  1. Place ten jars and their matching lids in a large box on the floor for each group participating in the activity. Make sure the jars and lids vary in size and shape and are mixed separately into the box.
  2. Find someone to watch the timer if you wish to circulate among the children and assist.


  1. Seat children on the floor in groups of four with a box of jars and lids in the middle of each group.
  2. Have each group of four pick one child to try to put the jars back together with their lids. Tell the children that the volunteer has two minutes to put the jars and lids back together. The other members in the group can help them figure out the matches but cannot touch the jars or lids.
  3. After the first round, talk to the entire group about what might make the job easier. Have another volunteer with each group now try the activity again using the suggestions. Afterward, talk to the entire group about why it was easier the second time. (The children might mention trying again or having a plan making it easier. Remind the children that having a plan almost always makes things easier.)
  4. Try the activity a third time to see if more children finish before the two minutes is up.

Considerations/Modifications/Extension Activities

  1. For children that need extra help, extend the time the groups have to complete the task or use fewer lids and jars.
  2. For more adventurous children, shorten the amount of time given to put the lids on the jars or have children compete as individuals if there are only a few children participating.

ISBE Learning Standards for Social/Emotional Learning

  • The child will use communication and social skills to interact effectively with others. (2C)
  • The child will apply decision-making skills to deal responsibly with daily academic and social situations. (3B)

Items Needed

  • Ten empty plastic jars of varying sizes and their matching lids per group of four children
  • Bag or box to contain the lids and jars
  • Timer