Roll a Rainbow Activity For Kids

rainbow activities for kidsNeed a break from winter weather? How about a game that is fun, easy to play and helps teach your kids about the order of the  colors of a rainbow. My kids have both known their colors since they were young toddlers but knowing the order they appear in the rainbow is tricky. Do you still say ROY-G-BIV to yourself in your head? I do. I don’t expect my kids to know the order off hand after a few rounds but they did leave with a clear understanding that the order is not dynamic and that the order is a pattern of primary and secondary colors.  If you don’t have Duplo on hand you can use pipe cleaners, pompoms, or paper and crayons and have your child draw the arcs. As you will see this simple rainbow activity for kids is a cinch to make and my kids were totally into it!

Gather your materials. You will need some Duplo ( or alternatives already mentioned) , a die, construction paper in the rainbow colors and tape. roll a rainbow color activity for preschool

Since the die only had 6 sides and we included indigo to make a proper rainbow I had my kids start with red as the 1st color and left it off the die.  I cut all the paper into squares and taped them on the die.build a rainbow game for kids

Time to play. Make a pool of colors and let the youngest roll first. I would usually do rock paper scissors to see who goes first but my daughter always chooses rock so my son always wins.

Roll the die and pick up the color you roll. If you roll a color you already have you do nothing. The first person to have all the colors of the rainbow wins.roll and build a rainbow game for preschool

My daughter was off to a great start.make a rainbow game for kids

It had her big brother very very worried. roll a rainbow game for kids

Then they tied it uprainbow game for kids and I had them both review the colors in order. I love this picture and the two of them speaking at the same time captures what it’s like at my house 75% of the time. learning the colors of the rainbow with a fun game

They both needed indigo – which was a nice to be stuck because it was the color they were the least familiar with and we talked about where it went at length. Finally someone ( can you guess who?) rolled it… and won. roll a rainbow game for preschoolWe played until my daughter also got indigo and they could both proudly display their rainbows . rainbow game

 

 

Tally Mark Dominoes & Speed Racer Math Games

tally mark math gamesLearning after school at our house has to be fast paced and fun. These math games are both. They are also a cinch to make and frugal too.  Subitizing is the ability to recognize an amount without counting. It’s not a skill most of us were specifically taught in school but in recent years it’s been added to most elementary math curriculums. As the name of my blog suggests I am not a huge fan of flash cards but for some things that require automatic recall they make sense. Subitizing is one of those skills that requires automatic recall but flash cards aren’t the only way you can work on the skill. Games like these are great too.

Gather your materials . You will need some sentence strips ( using the back side) , scissors, and a permanent marker.

tally mark math

Cut your sentence strips in half. I used 2 colors but you don’t have to. Draw a line down the middle of each card and a tally mark on one side , number on the other. These should not match. Let the marker dry completely before playing.tally mark dominoes game

The first game we played is a variation of dominoes. tally mark math gameWe placed one card on the table and split the others among the players. Then we took turns building by matching up the tally mark amounts to the numbers. tally marks game for kindergarten and first gradeThe first person that had all their cards down won. tally mark & digit dominoes

The next game was my son’s favorite. It’s a head to head speed game. Here are the instructions: Shuffle the cards. Place two down so the tally mark is facing the finish line ( in our case the end of the table) . Place the other cards in a pile face down and flip. When a match is made place it down end to end and keep going. The first person to reach the finish wins. tally mark speed racer

Practicing math at home does not need to be extra worksheets all the time. Make these simple games and you can play and practice at the same time.

math games are fun

Color & Learn – Foreign Language Game For Kids

little pim language game with colors book by little pimThis summer I have been partnering with Little Pim to think of fun new ways to combine high tech language learning like DVDs, Music CDs and Apps and low tech hands on activities and books. I think there is a place for all sorts of learning  in early education and even more fun to combine. In this sponsored post I am going to show you how we used the French language tools from Little Pim and a little old fashion coloring for great lesson that works with all ages. For more language learning ideas check out Little Pim’s Pinterest boards .

  1. Gather your materials. My kids and I have been using a lot of Little Pim resources this summer but the very least you will need is a book about colors in the language you want to teach, some paper , a jar, crayons and a pen. I am using a Little Pim coloring page for a few reasons, one obviously it fits this post but also because my kids associate Little Pim with other languages and it’s a signal of what we are going to be learning. You can use one or just use plain paper, this activity is easy to adapt.little pim activity supplies
  2. Write out the color words in the language you are working on. I did French so I wrote out the colors that were featured in the book. Pop these words in the jar.
  3. Read the book with your kids to remind them of the color words. My kids are 3.5 years apart so when we do activities together I try to find jobs for my son to make him feel more like a helper. For this activity he read to his sister.Little Pim Fun with languages french lesson
  4. Have your kids take turns pulling a word out of the jar.little pim fun with languages french My son read the word and they announced what the color was in English, little pim coloringgrabbed the right color crayon and colored.  My daughter colored with abandon and her brother was much much more precise. little pim french language activityA perfect representation of the difference in ages. They both worked on their French words for colors which was the goal.

 

global books for kids

For a full review of the book we used in this post and 26 others that offer a multicultural view check out our list of 27 multicultural books for kids.

As stated above this post was sponsored by Little Pim .

Art Museum Games & Tips

art for kidsTaking kids to an art museum can be an unpredictable adventure. They might love it, browse the art along with you and beg not to leave. They may also barely scan the art, try to touch everything and use the voice you begged them to only use on the soccer field the whole time. Kids are kids and expecting them to adore things that aren’t completely designed for them and then being angry or disappointed when they act their age is not really fair.  That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t expose our kids to art at art museums or give them expectations to live up to. What it does mean is that we help them reach these goals by giving them some tools.

Here are 5 simple games you can play with your kids at the art museum to keep them engaged in the art .

Secret Painting

museum

This game was created by my 6 year old on the way to the museum on Friday. I was explaining the next game on our list when he announced from his car seat that he had a better idea. I ran with it.

How to play :
One player chooses a work of art in a room/gallery but does not tell the other players which one it is. The other players try to guess which work of art is the secret one. You can ask for clues that give a yes or no answers just like in the game 20 questions. Whoever finds the secret one first gets to choose the next one in the next room/gallery .

art museum tips for kids

I’ll Take That One !

How To Play:
Each player chooses one piece of art in each room/gallery to pretend they are going to buy from the museum. They must also say where they would put the art in their own home.

art museums

Build A Rainbow

How To Play :
This is essentially a color hunt. In each gallery see if you and your kids can find every color of the rainbow. To make it more challenging you can add a rule that you can only find one color per painting. So that painting with the rainbow … yeah not going to cut it! This is a great game to play with toddlers, just make sure that they know that art is for looking at and not touching ( we are still working on that too ).

museum tips for kids

I Spy

How To Play:
Choose a color from inside a painting and the players can make guesses to what element it may be. For example if there is a brown dog in a painting the spyer will say ” I spy something brown” and the guessers will look for all the brown items in the painting, hopefully guessing the dog. This works great with kids of similar ability levels. My kids are just getting to the point where they can play games like this together and I love it. With older children you could do this with artists or genres saying ” I spy a Jackson Pollock” or ” I spy an impressionist painting.”. Adapt it to your kids.exploring art museums with kids

 

10 Tips For A Fun Museum Trip ( even with toddlers )

  1. Go early when there are fewer crowds and your kids are fresh and open to learning.
  2. Go on a full belly.
  3. Look at the map together and find the bathrooms on the map. Suggest you check them out right away.
  4. Go on a free day so if you must abort ship when a meltdown arises you aren’t out an admission price . It can be busier but if your child isn’t the quietest ( I know mine aren’t) the crowds tend to make a loud toddler voice less distracting and make your trip more pleasant. You can talk to your kids in a regular voice and not worry about your kiddo being quiet.
  5. Find out if photography is allowed and if it is hand your kids a camera to document their trip.
  6. In and out. Most museums will allow you to have in and out privileges so if your kids need a breather take one.
  7. Play games to keep kids engaged . Some museums will have kid friendly maps or guides .
  8. Bring a sketch book.
  9. Know when they are done and find the nearest exit. Don’t try to see just one more thing. If you see the signs of a meltdown just go.
  10. Visit the gift shop and after you return home read about art, museums and artists to keep the learning going.

Books About Art Museums

Babar's Museum Of Art

Babar’s Museum of Art by Laurent de Brunhoff is one of my favorite art books for kids. My son has recently decided he hates it because he doesn’t want to see the elephant versions of the art. All the art in the museum are masterpieces that you will recognize redone with elephants. He slams the page in the way only toddlers with a definite sense of justice can and says ” No elephant paintings Mama, real ones!” Trust me though this book is awesome and he loved it a few months ago. The story is about how Queen Celeste wants to change the abandoned railway station into a museum to house all their collected art . The museum itself looks just like the Musee D’Orsay in Paris and the story also explains art for children.

meet

Meet Me at the Art Museum: A Whimsical Look Behind the Scenes by Davis Goldin was a gift shop find at the museum we visited last week and the perfect book to keep my kids learning and interested. I read it to them while they ate lunch after our morning visit and they both really liked it. The book is a behind the scenes tour of an art museum. My daughter liked the inanimate objects that were turned into characters like the ticket stub and name tag while my son loved the insider info like how they choose paintings to display , check to make sure they aren’t fakes, and the security devices they use. I loved how it really explained the different jobs at the museum from docent to archivist to director and curator. The book held both their attention and reading it right after out trip gave us a fresh experience to relate it to.

Museum Trip

Museum Trip by Barbara Lehman is fantastic. This wordless book has a clear strong message – that if exposed children can loose themselves in art, it opens a new world with new adventures before unseen! The story opens with a little boy on a school field trip to a museum, he looses his group , and soon finds himself in the art. After completing many mazes he is given a medal before he rejoins his group. My favorite part is as he is getting on the bus with his class he is wearing his medal and so is the museum curator. Love it!

 

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Easy New Years Memory Game

new years activity for kids My kids and I had a blast playing memory with this homemade memory game that we made with pictures of some of our favorite memories of 2012.  As you will see both my kids played ( although they aren’t ready to play against each other yet – their gap in abilities is still too vast) and both loved not only beating mom ( I am terrible at this game) but also retelling stories about each picture and the memory that went with it. Oh and it’s so easy to make.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some card stock, double stick tape, digital photos , scissors and marker. new years memory game
  2. Choose 6 or more photos of favorite memories of 2012. You can print them out in a collage using a service like picmonkey.com or individually. Make sure you have 2 copies of each picture.
  3. Cut your pictures out. Mine are all black and white because I ran out of color ink not for any grand reason. new years memory game for kids
  4. Tape to the card stock.
  5. Cut out.new years memory match game for kids and toddlers
  6. I added the year on the back for fun. Also I plan on making this year after year.memory match game for kids and toddlers
  7. Time to play. First up was my wee one. I laid out 8 matches for her although I probably could have done 6.match game for toddlers
  8. She loved seeing the photos of herself – her first day of school with her teacher was her favorite.  The excitement was genuine when she made a match. She made six before she asked if she could play with her tea set :) Next time I will keep the number of cards lower.memory and match game for kids and toddlers for new years
  9. Then we set it up for my 6 year old. match and memory game for new years eveHe got the whole deck and was eager to show off.  new years match game for kids and toddlersHe didn’t know what photos I chose for the game and was happy to recount the stories that went with many of the photos. new years even game for kids  His favorite was a photo of him playing with our contributing writer Kim’s son .new years photo memory game He made matches so quickly and counted them up after each one. It was a perfect opportunity to skip count by two as well.new years eve memory game for kids

Happy New Year!