Allie did a color matching activity very similar to this one over a year ago, but I recently this variation at a daycare when I went to pick up my friend’s child. I had to make it as the perfect multi-level learning activity for my home.
All you will need are clothespins, paint, marker, scissors, and posterboard.
I traced an upside down large mixing bowl to get my big circle. Then I sectioned it into 8 pieces, but you can do as many as you like. I painted each section a different color.
As I painted the sections I made sure that I painted a clothespin for each color as well. You will see two of each in the photo because I made two sets (and then had to make a third).
I wrote the names of each color in the section. I also wrote the names of each color on the clothespins.
I gave the kids the circles with the clothespins already attached to the appropriate sections. I asked them to pull off all of the clothespins and put them in a pile. They loved pulling them off, maybe a little too much.
Then I told them to match the clothespins to the colors on the wheel. I demonstrated one match up to really show them, too. After all I was dealing with 2 two year olds. My daughter started right at it.
This activity is great for matching, learning colors, and motor skills. Our foster child has trouble doing the pincher hold, so this activity was more for him to work on motor skills and hand-eye coordination (not so much on color matching). Oh, and it is working. He is getting better every time we play this activity. Eve his therapists have noticed a big difference. We will get the color matching down, one day.
My daughter is learning to match and get more familiar with her colors. But it doesn’t hurt to build those motor skills, either.
This activity is requested constantly at my house. The littler ones have so much fun playing with it that I had to make one for my four year old son, too. I am hoping we will have our colors down as sight words. We should as much as we play this.
So there you have it, an activity that can be done by different ages and developmental stages (including special needs). Here is my daughter so proud of her completion. I know that you can’t tell from the picture, but she is very happy and proud.
Now that school is out for most of you I have been brainstorming crafts that are a little more challenging but that can be adapted for younger kids as well. This was fun to make and by no means do you or your child have to make flowers, the sky is the limit with these fun vibrant colors. Also you can take this opportunity to talk about shades and hues ! Don’t miss the matching activity after the craft for younger kids either!
- Gather your materials. You will need some paint samples, scissors, paper and glue.
- Start by deciding what to create, or deciding to make an abstract creation.
- I started with some grass and glued it on my paper.
- Next I made flower stems and leaves, and added them.
- Time for some pretty colors, I chose to make pink and purple flowers.
- Cut out the petals and glued them on.
- Now was the more creative part – the “extras” I decided to make some clouds with a dusty blue.
- Then my favorite a butterfly!
- As it dries the glue will stick but the paint samples will pull away some. I personally LOVE this, I like how 3 dimensional it makes the craft. If you don’t like this just pop a piece of wax paper over it and lay a heavy book on top for a few hours.
Paint Color Match
This activity is not just a color match it’s also a wonderful fine motor challenge for toddlers and preschoolers.
Here are the instructions.
Taking old standards and finding ways to make them fresh and new is something I have always relied on in classrooms and at home with my son. This activity was a big hit, simple and allowed him to make whatever he wanted. I kid you not when he started painting he said ” It’s just abstract.” I have been lounging in bed with my art books a lot and someone likes to cuddle and look at the pictures with me , glad to know he’s listening.
- Gather your materials. You will need some paints, a dish, paper and an exfoliating glove or mitt.
- Put the paint on the dish.
- Get your glove on , this took some time but try not to offer help unless they ask. I step in too early and need to work on that or my son will be 12 and I will still be putting his shoes on.
- Dip into the paint.
- Go for it. My son decided that smacking the paper hard was his technique , there is no wrong way. The glove did get stuck to the paper a few times but no biggie. Also the glove made really cool sounds when he scrapped it against the paper. I loved all the different senses that came into play during this activity.
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!
Little Blue and Little Yellow is a profound book with underlying commentary about race relations while the surface story is about little blobs of color who when squished together turn into one green blob! You’ll be surprised by how easily your preschooler will pick up on the connection between the two. In my PreK class I had more than a few kids make the connection all on their own.
Lemons Are Not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a clever book each page offers a sneak peek at what it next, which my son thought was genius and I have to agree. Soon my son was making his own predictions about what object would be revealed when we turned the page. The book offered so many chances for me to step in and ask my son questions about what we were reading without stalling the momentum of the book.
My son will do anything for marshmallows and he loves sorting. Since this craft itself is super simple I made things more challenging by creating a pre-activity of sorting the colors with bamboo tongs. Yes many were eaten, we did this on a no nap day and the sillies were at an all time high but we still had fun.
- Gather your materials. You will need a divided tray, mini marshmallows, some paper or foam , glue and tongs.
- Start by sorting a few of the marshmallows in a tray. I put a few in each section to provide a guide.
- Hand your child the tongs and let them sort.
- And eat.
- When they are all sorted ( and yes I asked if I could help and sorted a few as well) add glue to the foam/paper in a heart shape.
- Start adding the pink marshmallows.
- Count as you go! We did 13, 5 and 9 before gobbling up a few yellow and green ones.
- Let dry.
Table Top Recycling Center
Garbage and recycling and their respective trucks are big hits at our house, as is Duplo. So I mixed the two together for a fun color sorting activity that went on and on ! The simplest things are usually the best. Activities like this mix imaginative play, color recognition, and counting and will appeal to a wide range of ages. You can change up the theme to fit your child’s particular interests too!
- Gather your materials. You will need some craft paper ( or use the underside of wrapping paper) , markers, painters tape , and some multi colored blocks or toys to sort.
- Tape your paper to a table, add a title! As kids get interested in spelling make sure you spell out loud when adding things like titles to crafts and activities.
- Draw a conveyor belt – every sorting center needs one!
- Draw bins for the recyclables ( each color). I asked my son what colors we needed, he looked in the bin of Duplo and as he called them out I drew the bins.
- Start sorting!
- Play, we grabbed a recycling truck for added oomph! Count how many blocks are in each bin , find out which bin has the most, which has the least … there is a lot of learning hidden in this game.
- We even came back after lunch for some more fun!
I Am A Garbage Truck by Ace Landers is okay, the story is a little disjointed, when my husband read it to him for the first time he looked over at me in my son’s bed and said ” Am I reading this the right way? It seems like I should have started from the last page?” my son didn’t care, he loves the illustrations and the way the book is in the shape of a garbage truck. I like that it covers both garbage and recycling, and toddlers will love it!
A Day in the Life of a Garbage Collector by Nate Leboutiller is presently my son’s favorite book. Unlike the next book that focuses on the process of garbage collection and recycling this book focuses on the workers that make it all happen. From what time they have to get up, the safety measures they take, clothes they wear and how they drive the trucks it covers it all. Perfect for kids like mine that are curbside waving at the garbage collector every week!
Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book ! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of recyclable garbage from this book!