By: Tina Yang, Early Head Start Teacher, Penfield Children’s Center
For early learners, sorting activities are a great way to help children learn about colors. These five lessons also teach about shapes, textures and help increase fine motor skills.
Bean bags and color cards:
Fill a small bin with solid colored bean bags. Primary (red, yellow, blue) and secondary (purple, orange, green) colors work the best because it’s easy to find paper that corresponds to the colors.
Next, place matching colors of paper on the floor. Ask your child to place the same colored bean bag on the same colored piece of paper. In addition to learning the names of each color, this helps your child contrast the different colors and find “matches” to see their similarities.
You can also have your child place solid colored toys on each piece of paper. A basketball can be paired with the orange paper and an Elmo stuffed animal can be placed on a red sheet of paper.
On a white piece of paper, draw a rainbow for your child, using different colored markers. Pour Fruitloops into a bowl and have your child glue the red Fruitloops on the red line, orange Fruitloops on the orange line, etc.
Prepare a colorful kid-friendly meal:
Make a rainbow plate! Red apple slices, orange carrots, yellow mac and cheese, green grapes and blueberries are all great options. Have your child name all the colors on his plate before he eats them.
Make a pompom whisk:
Fill a wire whisk with different colored pompom balls. Have your child pull out the pompoms one by one and sort them by color. Just make sure to keep a close eye on toddlers to make sure they don’t put the pompoms in their mouths. Allowing your child to pull out the pompoms also increases fine motor skills and strengthens the pincer grasp.
Create colorful pasta necklaces:
First, fill individual plastic bags with uncooked pasta. Add a dollop of water-based paint to each bag and shake so that the paint covers all of the noodles. Pour noodles out onto a baking sheet to dry overnight and then string colorful necklaces with your child. This is also a great activity for teaching about patterns.
All of these activities can teach a child about colors, but the key is to also discuss the names of the colors as you create. Ask your child about his favorite color and how each color makes him feel. Does yellow make him happy? Does blue relax him? Talking about the meaning of each color can actually help you get to know your child even more! These fun projects will also get your early learner ready for kindergarten and indulge his love for art.
What colorful crafts do you enjoy creating with your child?