Matchmaker Matchmaker Make Me A …

Match !

Here are three variations of matching games that we have been doing and loving recently. They all reinforce colors but using ice tongs for one will help develop the all important pincer grasp , the bean bag game helps with gross motor and the egg one rolls in a Easter theme! Also counting can be added in to each for extra credit !


Pinching Pom Poms

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a divided chip and dip platter or individual bowls. Some scrap paper that matches your pom poms, some tape and ice tongs.
  2. Cut the paper into pieces that fit into the platters sections, leave the middle blank, it will be the starting point for the pom poms.
  3. Place the pom poms into the middle
  4. Start matching, if the tongs are frustrating them , have them do it with their hands.

Easter Egg Match

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cheap Easter eggs, a bowl for the eggs to start out in, one container for each egg( mine are old blueberry containers) and matching paper for each color of egg.
  2. Cut the paper so they line the bottom of the small containers.
  3. Invite your child to come to the table and start matching.
  4. Praise and celebrate their success !

Toss & Match

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some colored bean bags, and some colored construction paper. You could also use laundry baskets with colored towels in them for a target or anything that is obviously the same color.
  2. Start tossing the bean bags to the target. Toddlers will probably walk up naturally but older children can be challenged to throw the bean bag from a distance, just pop some painters tape on the carpet for them to stay behind.
  3. Start with just a few colors for little guys and work up to many for older children.
Have Fun !

Spring Fling Day 2 ! Color Match!

Chip it Clip it !

Months ago I saw a similar project over at Teaching Tiny Tots and made a mental note to try it, my son’s fine motor skills were good but not quite ready yet, the other day he was making a clothes pin bite things and I knew it was time! Here is how we did it.

  1. Gather your materials. I used 2 of each color paint chip ( 8 in all) , 4 clothes pins, 1 strip of cardboard ( side of a cereal box) and some double stick tape. I am far too impatient for glue.
  2. Cut your paint chips to fit onto the cardboard.
  3. Tape them down well.
  4. Using the 2nd paint chip cut a small strips to go on the top of the clothes pins.
  5. Tape them down.
  6. Start playing !

Books

“The Colors of Us” by Karen Katz . You may know Karen Katz from her very popular board books, but she has written a number of great picture books too! Lena is learning about mixing colors with her artist mom when she announces that “brown is brown” her mom knows better though. On a walk around her neighborhood she sees that all the people she knows are all different and all beautiful shades of brown. What I like about this book is that it recognizes that we are all different, kids , especially little ones can be really confused when we tell them “We are all the same” they don’t understand what we mean because they can SEE that we aren’t. This book celebrates the diversity while also celebrating the beauty of each color of us.


“Brown Bear Brown Bear” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is a classic, it is genius in it’s simplicity. So often we think things have to have fancy bells and whistles to keep toddlers and preschoolers interested and this book proves us wrong yet again. I haven’t met a child who hasn’t responded well to this book about colors and animals!

“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.

Mitten Match Game

Mittens are great , easy to draw , easily identifiable by even really little guys, and they show up in some wonderful books ( see below) . Your child can help make the mittens or you can do it , either way they will love this little home made game, and be learning too!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of white paper, a marker, some construction paper ( any color but use the same color for all of it), some small containers, double stick tape or glue , paint and scissors.
  2. Start by drawing 3 mittens on 3 separate pieces of paper.
  3. If you have an older child who needs more of a challenge you can do a hat and scarf as well, but little guys may get confused on whether to match the item or the color , so start small if you aren’t sure.
  4. Have your child paint the mittens, one color for each page.
  5. My son was hard to convince to use only one color, so I had an extra page for him to use all of them on after he did the mittens.
  6. Let dry and cut out.
  7. Using double stick tape or glue use construction paper as a backing. This will make them sturdier so they last while being played with!
  8. Using the small containers match your mittens!
Books !


The Mitten   by Jan Brett is visually impeccable, each page is so full of details that you will find yourself staring at them long after you have read the words. The story is about a little boy who looses a mitten and what happens next. It’s a sweet retelling of a Ukrainian folk tale but the detailed and layered illustrations really steal the show!

 Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is a classic for a reason. My son has loved it since day one and it really does a great job of calming before bed, like all great bedtime stories should. As a teacher I hated this book probably because it’s not a great book for groups I admit I was wrong, this is a gem ! Also for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, there are mittens in the story, which is why it works well with this activity!

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Color Mixing

Color mixing is something so simple but so exciting for young children. The lesson is vital as well, the basic understanding that when you mix two things a third new thing is created doesn’t have to come from a complicated lesson, so grab a few towels and trust me your children will love this!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some clear or white glass or plastic containers. Food coloring, water , a turkey baster and a thick place mat or towel under the jars.
  2. Start by letting your child get accustomed to using the turkey baster to transfer the water from one container to another. They do make child size turkey basters and sell them at educational stores like Lakeshore learning but I am just using a regular old one.
  3. Next add blue and red to two of the jars and have clear water in the third. Ask about the colors and if your child is old enough, ask them to make a prediction about what will happen if you mix the colors.
  4. Continue with as many color combinations as they want. My son had a blast making green and we re did this experiment 4 or 5 times.
  5. If they are getting frustrated with how slow the turkey baster is encourage them to pour the water into the other jars.
  6. The fun can keep going as long as they are interested, our experiment lasted about 30 minutes which was about 15 minutes longer than I expected!
Books!



” A Rainbow Of My Own” by Don Freeman is a charming story about wanting a rainbow, you may notice that the colors are out of order but I have always used that as a teaching tool in my classes.

” Little Blue and Little Yellow”
by Leo Lioniis 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!

Traffic Light Color Matching Activity

craft for boys


  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 full pieces of paper ideally one neutral color and one black, some red, green and yellow paper to rip into pieces, some double stick tape or glue, red, yellow and green crayons or markers and something to trace the circles with.
  2. Trace 3 circles on the neutral piece of paper, the top should be red, middle yellow and bottom green.
  3. Hand your child the colored paper to rip into small pieces. This isn’t just fun for them, it’s great practice for their fine motor skills!
  4. Start gluing or taping your small pieces in the correct circles. Younger children may need you to place a few correct color pieces first, but even young toddlers will surprise you with placing the correct color in the correct circle. My son blew me away while we were doing this consistently placing the right color down!
  5. Cut the extra paper off the sides of the traffic light, and glue on to a black piece of paper, trim and voila you have your very own traffic light!


Additional Activities

Red Light Green Light~ An Inside Version

You may be familiar with Red Light Green Light as a running game outside, but this version can be played inside . Introduce the concept of red being stop, yellow being slow and green meaning go by acting it out. You don’t need to run, you can do any movement at all. I have done this as a circle time activity with clapping, hand waving and knee slapping! Have preschoolers suggest movements too!

Books!

 

” Firefighters to the Rescue!” by Kersten Hamilton is a beautifully illustrated look at the heroic happenings of a group of firefighters. The text is good but my one concern is the lack of any female firefighters, that aside the book is worth a look.” Policeman Small” by Lois Lenski was first published in 1962 and is retro in all the awesome ways. Cute and cheery it’s like a little Rockwell painting in a book! Also toddlers gravitate towards this book, my son loves them!

” Cool Cars” by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker is a bright little book that talks about all different types of cars and even a little bit about the rules of the road in a zippy rhyming text!