Today I ran a simpler theme than usual, to get an understanding of where the kids stood with their grasp of color names. Patrick (3) knew his colors confidently, but Peggy (19 months) and Liam (2.5) were equally confused. I'll spend some time working Colors into our next few lessons to reinforce whatever stuck from today's theme.
We started off by reading two Colors books -
by Sam McBratney
(author of Guess How Much I Love You)
My Many Colored Days
by Dr. Seuss
My Many Colored Days segued easily into a coloring activity. I printed off some faces that were showing different emotions, and asked the children to decide what color each face "felt like". For example, is YELLOW peppy and fast, or mellow and sluggish.
This was a very complicated and intangible concept for the kids to grasp, and I knew they'd struggle with it, but I was curious to see how they'd muddle through. Although everyone had fun with the project, I'm not sure any of the children were able to make any sort of real colors/feelings connection. In a year or two we'll have to try this one again.
Sorting by Color
I brought out one of our favorite toys, the Learning Resources Mini Motors Counters and asked the children to sort their cars and trucks into different colored parking lots that I placed around the feltboard. Liam loved the activity, and sorted his colors happily.
My big downfall was in adding little felt roads that connected the parking lots to each other.
Note: I use a transparent fruit and vegetable tray to store our sorting toys. The compartments are the perfect size for sorting by color or vehicle type, and it comes with a lid, so everything stays safely away when I don't want Pippi walking around with a mouth full of firetrucks!
Continuing with the Feltboard, I brought out my sparkly colored balloons, and we sung The Red Balloon while placing each piece upon the board. I let the kids take turns picking out which color balloon we'd sing about, next, and they loved it.
|"The Red Balloon"|
The Red Balloon
The red balloon goes sailing...!
The red balloon goes sailing...!
"Glitterful Fun Felt Stories" has a great colors game for feltboard, called "Little Mouse". I've played this game half a dozen times with Patrick, and he adores it! Click on the link to see a video of this game.
Supplies: 1 felt mouse, 8 colored houses.
Directions: While everyone closes their eyes, slip the mouse under one of the felt houses. If you're working with very young kids, you can let a tail or an ear peek out, just for fun! Let the kids pick which color house they want to check under, and then everyone says together "Little mouse... Little mouse! Are you in the RED HOUSE?"
I've heard of this activity from a few different people, and finally decided to try it out with the kids. It was a lot of fun for the 3 year old and it was do-able with help for the 2.5 year old, but Peggy was unable to pinch the clothespin and got frustrated until I just let her pour the tin of clothespins out on the floor and bat them around like a kitten.
Cardboard (pressed board works best, not corrugated - it's hard to color on)
A circular object to trace
Crayons or Markers
1. Trace and cut out your circle - about 7' diameter works well.
2. Using the ruler, divide your circle into quarters or eighths. Quarters works well for young toddlers, but older toddlers will enjoy the challenge of finding eight different colors.
3. Color each part of the wheel a different color.
4. Color the bottom 1/3 of a clothespin the same color.
5. Drop all clothespins into a tin and mix them up.
6. Kids take turns reaching into the tin for a clothespin, and if it matches a segment on their circle, they pin it to that part of the circle (learning how to pinch the clothespin will exercise fine motor skills and that pincher grasp, which will help make writing with a pencil easier, later on).
And finally, just a note about Coloring...
The texture of these crayons is simply... delicious! It's like coloring with lipstick!
Wet and vibrant and smooth - all with hardly any pressure applied to the tip. This is so rewarding for Pippi, who has a delicate touch, and doesn't press hard enough with regular crayons to make a satisfying mark.
I've only ever seen their 5-packs in stores, but found a 12-pack on Amazon for $10. Believe me when I say, it's totally worth the money! We use these crayons almost every day for a few months and despite heavy use, we've yet to come to the end of one stick.
And also believe me when I say that you are going to play with these things as much as your kids do! They're fantastic!