This simple color matching activity works on more than just color recognition. It also works on fine motor skills and even counting. I used a butterfly theme because my daughter adores them but if your child is not into butterflies use whatever theme they are into . I wasn’t planning on her coloring the butterflies at first but as I was setting the activity up she wanted to help so I started over and she colored as many as she wanted. When we do activities like these I usually play once with my children and then leave the set up on the table in the playroom for a few days ready for them to play independently.
- Gather your materials. You will need some paper cut outs ( our butterflies were pink on one side and white on the other ) , markers in a variety of colors, crayons on the same, and a mix of small items like buttons, beads, and pom poms.
- Start by writing the color names on your butterflies. As you do the activity you can point out the word and individual letters as well.
- Color the butterflies. My daughter colored pink and green and I colored the rest with the crayons.
- I taped the butterflies down with painter’s tape to help avoid any slipping while playing. Nothing like a spill or slip to frustrate a three year old and end the activity.
- Add your bowl of bits and pieces and start matching! I loved listening to her dialogue with herself when she found a bead that wasn’t in one of the colors we chose. ” Oh so sorry we don’t have your color.” and ” Too bad no brown.” it also presented a choice does she try to find the closest color or just leave them in the bowl? She soon focused almost all her energies on finding pink and only pink beads and buttons. This activity also lent itself naturally to counting. Count the colors, count the beads vs pom poms … there are lots of opportunities for learning.
Books About Colors
Hello, Red Fox by Eric Carle is a fun interactive book about colors and the color wheel. Kids will love the “trick” on each page. The trick being that if you stare at a color for long enough then stare at a blank page the complimentary color will appear! This book is great, but not for a group, a class will disintegrate into “Let me!!” and “My turn!” quickly so this is really is best read one on one!
Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd was a huge hit at our house. My son loved identifying the colors of all the drips of paint, ice cream and more that Dog gets on him throughout the day. This is a great book not only because it has counting and colors but because of the language it uses while the spots of color are splatting, squashing ans squishing onto his beautiful white fur. My son loved repeating these words with enthusiasm as he noted how poor Dog was getting so messy! It’s a fun book to read and one that I have added to my wish list !
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. is a book that can go with a baby from infancy through toddlerhood and into the preschool years. The bold colors of the illustrations by Eric Carle are perfect for catching infant’s attention and will continue to grab it through the years. With the turn of each page the reader is left wondering what’s next, and if the reader is my son he will cut you off to tell you what’s coming next before you have a chance to turn the page. There are other titles in the series , including ; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? , and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? but this one is my very favorite! My daughter has loved this book for years and it was the first book she memorized and “read” to us.This post contains affiliate links.
Are you ready for spring? I am done with winter even if my calendar isn’t and what better way to start spring than with an easy butterfly craft or 9 ? These are our favorite butterfly crafts we have made over the years and I am sure spring 2013 will inspire some new ones soon enough. If butterflies aren’t your thing check out our bug crafts !
Coffee Filter and Colored Glue Butterfly
Toddler Butterfly Craft
Butterfly Sensory Tub
Handprint Butterfly Craft
Pasta Butterfly Branch
Bandaid Butterfly Craft
Alphabet Butterfly Garden
We love playing with the alphabet. Whether it’s making letter crafts , reading book or creative activities like this we play with and point out letters where ever we go. This is the 5th installment of our Alphabet For Starters series, posts dedicated to introducing and playing with letters for beginners. We spent the majority of the day outside pulling weeds and my daughter helped us by pulling flowers too. I decided to piggy back that with this alphabet garden magnetic play. Please be careful whenever you use magnets . I prefer using products like this adhesive magnetic roll vs round magnets that are all too often put in little mouths. If your child is still putting things in their mouth skip the magnets it’s a nice extra but not required.
- Gather your materials. You will need some fun precut shapes I am using wooden shapes fromCraftprojectideas.com , some permanent markers, scissors, magnetic sheets , some paper and a cookie sheet.
- Start by writing out the alphabet one letter at a time on the wooden pieces.
- Decorate . I used permanent markers because I wanted to play the same day but if you have the time paint would be nice too.
- Trace the shape on the paper side of the adhesive magnetic roll.
- Cut and stick.
- Make a few scenes on paper ( I made a garden and a vase ), placed them on the cookie sheet and put the letters in a basket.
- Play. She started right away.
- Then switched the scene and kept going. As she placed the letters I labeled them and every now and then would ask which letter she liked best, which color she liked best and which was her favorite flower/ butterfly. Anything with polka dots was the verdict every time.
A Gardener’s Alphabet by Mary Azarian is a fresh and so richly illustrated alphabet book you will likely have the same thoughts I did while reading it with my son ” I need to frame these pages!” they are that awesome. What I think the main benefit of this book is , is that the words chosen for each letter are not the same old ones you see over and over in alphabet books. The words used are things like Japanese Garden for J, Lawn Ornaments for L and my favorite was Underground for U with a cool illustrations of worms, root vegetables and roots !
Baby’s Alphabet by Jean Marzollo will appeal to your baby and toddler, we were given it as a gift and my son has loved it since about 9 months on. The photographs of other babies will keep your little one interested and you will be surprised how soon they will anticipate the next page, I know I was. Sadly our copy is now flying the friendly skies , we took it on a flight with us and forgot it on the plane. Hopefully someone with a baby finds it.
The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town by Judy Sierra is a great alphabet book. I couldn’t help myself, I read it to my son to the tune of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom . It is clearly it’s own book though. The alphabet is getting ready for bed and just like your little ones, these lowercase letters are pulling out all their tricks and antics to avoid bedtime. Well almost all of them, z is more than happy to go to bed! It’s a sweet book that your kids can relate to and I like that it focuses on lowercase letters.
We have started spotting butterflies in our yard when we are outside playing and I am so happy that my son still stops what he is doing to watch them flutter by. This is a classic kids craft but by using the colored glue we made and glitter it’s a little special even for a jaded crafter like my son . I like how the colored glue can be seen through the wings and in the window it looks like a sun catcher. My kids had a ball and I think it was a great reminder that classic crafts are classic for a reason.
- Gather your materials. You will need some coffee filters, some colored glue, glitter and pipe cleaners. My kids love the sparkly ones from craftprojectideas.com . Also when we are doing glitter I like to shake it into a bow lid, or other container to keep it a little contained.
- Start by drizzling the glue all over the coffee filter. While my daughter did this my son was playing nearby.
- She loved squeezing the glue and we took the opportunity to talk about colors too.
- Add the glitter! She was tame compared to her brother …. you’ll see what I mean in a bit.
- She was happy with one so I invited my son who wasn’t ready yet. So we played for a while then started the craft. This worked well because I got my daughter engaged so she was happily playing alone when my son decided he was ready. He wanted to make a monarch butterfly because they migrate. OK. So he was trying to mix the red and yellow paint to make orange.
- And guess who decided she wanted to make another. I only had one box and my son was using it so I gave my daughter about 5 layers of coffee fliter so the colored glue didn’t seep through to the unprotected table. It worked well.
- Then he added glitter.
- And he went bananas. He made up a silly song about glitter and had us all giggling. Yes it was a mess but it was funny and silly and happy and I am a total sucker for funny.
- We let them dry over night ( on way paper so the glue that ran through the filters wouldn’t stain anything). Did you really think I’d have a post without at least one of my kids in PJs?
- Then wound the pipe cleaners around them.
- Put them in the window .
I still have glitter to clean up – my son helped but I think he just spread it. The library may get a few books returned that shine figuratively and literally.
The little caterpillar snuggled on a leaf,
Spun a little chrysalis and then fell asleep,
While she was sleeping she dreamed that she could fly,
When she woke up she was a butterfly.
My toddler is in the eating paper phase and the fling the paint phase. We are still having fun with paint but when we do my camera is safely on a shelf since I need two hands to wipe down the playroom walls. Today while her brother was at school we made this mess free butterfly craft with ribbons something she has no desire to eat or fling. If your toddler’s reaction to an activity frustrates you find a way to connect and create with them that doesn’t push your buttons. I say all the time how if we make the challenge too great for our kids they shut down and stop learning well it goes for us too. If I am frustrated I am not connecting with my child and getting angry about exploration serves no one. Don’t give up on the messy stuff (they need it) just try it again when you have the patience to deal with their exuberance.
- Gather your materials. You will need some sturdy paper , contact paper , ribbons in your choice of colors , scissors and crayons.
- Have your child color the paper first. I forgot. For really little guys skipping this like I did is probably best, it’s another step that might make it too long. While they do that cut the ribbon.
- Fold your paper and cut out a butterfly shape.
- Cut out the middle.
- Peel the back off your contact paper and press your butterfly on sticky side up.
- Give the butterfly to your child. She just felt it for a minute or two. I just let her explore.
- Hand them the ribbon. She immediately started adding it to the butterfly.
- No need to help unless they seek it, every now and then I would say ” That’s a nice red ribbon.” or ” You found a yellow one.” but it wasn’t a constant dialog.
- They will let you know when they are done. Activity will slow, items may start finding the floor… just know that toddlers typically won’t spend long on a structured activity like this and don’t feel like you are doing anything wrong . We spent about 5 minutes total. This is her “done” she claps her hands once and says “un!”
- Put it up where your little one can see what they made and know you think it’s fantastic!