My goal during the summer is to keep things simple while providing fun and memorable activities for our family to do together. It’s not about big trips, spending lots of money, or over the top Pinterest activities that take forever to prep and do. (Though if you love that stuff, then I say, “Go for it!”)
So with that said, our first thematic week was all about Exploring Colors. Both of my kids are very familiar with identifying, naming, and reading colors so the goal this week was to experiment with how you can change colors and recognizing shades of colors.
The week kicked off with some new books making an appearance at our house. I’m a big believer that the more quality literature we read with our kids, the more they will come to love books and learning new things. We spend a lot of time talking about the pictures, making predictions about what will happen, and sometimes finding letters, words, numbers, or colors that we know. Reading with my kids is a very organic, child led activity. Sometimes that means we read for five minutes and other times we’ll read 4-5 books again and again and again.
Here are some of the books (affiliate links) that we really enjoyed reading this week:
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After reading, I chose one color activity for us to do together each day. The activities took anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how involved and excited the kids were to do them. Several of the activities we revisited throughout the day or other days during the week. I’ve listed a few of the skills your child can learn from doing these activities, as a way to point out how simple games and activities can benefit your child without the need for workbooks or drilling skills. 🙂
Activity #1- Painting with Shades of Color
Each kiddo chose their favorite color to paint with. We put some of their chosen color (pink for the youngest and purple for the oldest) into 3 different paper cups. We left one color the way it was. In the second cup we added some white paint and mixed. In the third cup we added a couple drops of black paint and mixed. We made observations about how the color changed when we added white and black. Then they used the three colors to paint pictures on a vertical surface (which helps build coordination, core muscles, and strengthen shoulders and muscles needed for writing and drawing).
Skills: color identification, making observations and predictions, fine motor skills, language development
Activity #2- Exploring Color Pigments
Today was all about looking at how some colors are more translucent than others while making sun catchers. I cut a bunch of leftover tissue paper from my gift wrapping drawer into squares and rectangles. We laid out the contact paper with half of the paper peeled back, so that the sticky side was facing up. The other half of the contact paper stayed covered until the end of the project.
The girls went to town putting the different colors of tissue paper on the contact paper. I also had some leftover confetti sequins and let them add those to their creations. Once they were happy with the amount of color, we took the remaining paper off the contact paper and folded it in half, sealing in all the items they put down.
Each kiddo picked a shape they wanted for their sun catcher. My oldest chose a heart.
I gave her a tracer and she traced the heart shape and cut it out. My youngest chose a circle and I cut it out for her. Then we punched a hole in the top of each and ran some twine through it s we could hang it up. We talked about which colors were lighter and which were darker and how the pigment in a color makes them that way.
Skills: color recognition, making observations, fine motor skills- cutting, shape recognition (squares, rectangles, hearts, and circles), tracing language development
Activity #3- Colorful Reactions
Today we played with colors and reactions. I put some baking soda about a 1/4 inch thick in the bottom of a baking dish. We dotted the baking soda with food coloring (You could also use liquid water color). Then the kids used small pipettes to suck up white vinegar and drop it on the colored polka dots in the baking dish and watch the reactions as the baking soda bubbled and fizzed.
The really cool part was when my oldest wondered what would happen if we used water instead of baking soda. So we gave it a try and talked about the differences in reactions. The kids had a blast and played with it for about 45 minutes. Score!
Skills: color recognition, beginning chemical reactions, making observations and predictions, comparing and contrasting, language development
Activity #4- Shades of Color
Unfortunately, the rain killed the original outdoor-scavenger-hunt-while-on-a-nature-walk idea, but that’s ok. It just took a little adjustment (flexibility the key to having kids! LOL) I placed sheets of construction paper on the floor (3-4 colors at a time)— red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, brown, pink, and white. We set a timer for 2 minutes and quickly went on an indoor scavenger hunt throughout the house to find and bring objects of each color and place them on the correct construction paper sheets. When time was up we counted the objects and decided which color was the “winner.” We did about 4 scavenger hunts, then put everything away. The kids wanted to do it again later in the day and it’s quickly becoming favorite game.
Skills: color recognition, matching, visual discrimination, counting, comparing quantities, one-to-one correspondence, language development
Activity #5- Field Trip
We are fortunate enough to live a short drive away from the Crayola Experience, so we ended our week of Color Exploration with a field trip. The kids had a lot of fun naming their own crayons, watching how crayons are made in person which was a great follow up to a book we read earlier in the week- Wax to Crayons, making art projects with melted wax, turing melted crayons into new shapes, and much more. In total we spent about three hours exploring the Crayola Experience. It was a great activity for a rainy week!
Additional color activities to try:
So there you have it…a week of colorful fun! I challenge you to give some of these activities a try and enjoy making memories with your kiddos. Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for more ideas to do with your kiddos!