Colors are going to be my focus for little Cora for a bit so that she’s not calling everything under the sun “blue”.
We actually had some quiet this morning while Maddy and Owen were at pre-school, so, after trying to get the house back in order after a busy weekend, we played dolls for about ten hours then played with colors a bit.
Color Match: I grabbed one sheet each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and white construction paper. (Note: I should have started smaller–with maybe 4 colors, but I was excited. . .and it’s still so gray here, I think I was rainbow-hungry.)
I also brought out a bag of bottle tops and lids I’ve been saving. These I found literally everywhere–milk tops, oj container lids, top of vitamin and cream cheese containers–and I’ve only been keeping them for a few weeks.
I spread out the colored paper on our floor, dumped the big bag of lids in a pile, and let Cora play with them for a little. She squeezed them, tried to fit them inside one another, and gave some to her dolls.
Finally, I said, Okay, Cora, let’s help these lids get to their homes. Watch Mommy. I’m going to put the red lid on the red paper. . . I’m going to put the blue lid on the blue paper. I’m putting the green lid on the green paper. Look at this lid. Where does it belong–on the red paper or blue paper? She said, “blue.” (Go figure. I should have known. Everything is blue in her little blue world. It was red.) No, this is blue (I held another blue lid.) This lid is red, so I’ll put it on the red paper.
I talked my way through the pile of lids, and then I said, Okay, let’s do it again. Help me get all of the lids in a pile again. She did, and then I handed her a lid. Can you put this blue lid on the blue paper for me?
She said, No. Baby lid.
So, I played along. Okay, then. Baby, will you move this lid to the blue paper for me? Baby did, and so this is how we proceeded. Cora had Baby move the lids where they belonged. There were a ton of mix-ups, so together, Cora, Baby, and I helped the lids find their homes. (Again, I should have started with only about four colors.)
But we’re learning as we go!
Any little bit that we can do from our end helps, and although it takes a long time to learn colors, at least we all–Cora, Baby, and I–had fun with the little bit of learning today.
The whole assembly of papers and lids was left out by the time that Maddy and Owen got home, and they enjoyed matching everything.
With older kids, you can actually take it a few steps further:
- talk about which color has the more, less, equal, greater, fewer, number of lids;
- put the color papers in order from most to least;
- discuss how many lids you would have to take away from certain colors so that each color had the same amount;
- write the number of lids on the paper to demonstrate what the number looks like;
- talk about locations: behind, outside, over, under, top, bottom, in between, etc.
**Research shows that students must have a working knowledge of mathematics vocabulary in order to be successful in mathematics, particularly in the area of problem solving (from Barton & Heidema, 2000; Whitin & Whitin, 2000). We can begin to develop that vocabulary through simple but meaningful activities now, disguised as games like these.
Want a few more alphabet activities? Check out:
- backyard alphabet hunt
- homemade alphabet book
- leafy letter learning
- ABC hunt
- on the road ABC hunt
- lowercase ABC hunt
- build your own bingo: uppercase and lowercase match
- ABC cards and clothespin match
- alphabet letter splash
- alphabingo (play with lowercase letters)
- alphabet letter lids
- leafy outdoor alphabet hunt
- build your own board game
- clothespin letter match
- 10 fun ways to learn the alphabet
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