Monday, March 4, 2013

Color of the Week: Yellow

Welcome to the 
Color of the Week Series 
here on Play Create Explore!

activities for teaching colors to kids

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Recently my youngest son "B" (19 mo) surprised me by identifying a few colors on his own when I admittedly hadn't worked with him that much on his colors so I wasn't aware he was picking it up so well!

After that, I decided that we would focus on one color each week, with several color themed activities. During our color weeks, we will NOT be ignoring other colors, rather just a large focus will be on our chosen color. I will also be gently introducing the basics such as counting, and the alphabet and mixing these fundamentals in with our color activities.

Because B was so cutely hooked on repeating the word "yellow," 
Yellow was our first Color of the Week!

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colorful sensory activities for toddlers

First, I simply gathered all the "yellow" toys and other random objects I could find, and I put all of it in a yellow bucket we had. We played with and explored this stuff all week long. We worked on identifying the names and shapes of the objects and of course saying the word "yellow" over and over..."yellow fish," "yellow ball, "yellow banana..." 

Our first sensory bin was simple. I used our yellow lemon scented epsom salt and threw in some of our yellow objects in a small plastic container. Again, not only did I repeat the word yellow, but I worked on identifying the names or shape of the objects, by just casually mentioning the words as B picked them up.
See how to make your own scented and colored epsom salt, HERE 
Sensory bin

I found the book 10 Little Rubber Ducks, by Eric Carle at our local library, which was obviously perfect because of the yellow ducks, but also because little B LOVES ducks! 

After we read the book 10 little ducks, I gathered a few of our rubber ducks and did another very simple sensory activity with a bit of water and yellow food coloring with a few more yellow objects thrown in. Water play is always such a hit! 
sensory bin

We did some simple yellow finger painting using washable paints. 

We did a simple yellow Easter grass sensory bin which he LOVED! His favorite part was snapping the strands of grass individually. They snapped fairly easy but made a really neat sound as they did.
sensory bin

Yellow Bath
We took a "Sunny Yellow" themed bath which was the perfect remedy for fun on a dreary winter day!

-The paint on the walls was washable paint
-I cut the shapes from sheets of yellow craft foam (which sticks to the walls when wet)
-Some yellow balloons and other yellow toys
-I added some yellow food coloring to the water 
-I also added some lemon essential oil but as soon as I did, it caused all my larger balloons to immediately burst, leaving only the smaller ones. (so weird!)
-I also made some sunny yellow bath paint (see picture below)
bath fun

Our Sunny Yellow bath paint was simply made with 
Shaving Cream + Yellow Food Coloring + Lemon Essential Oil 
(you could use lemon extract as well) and I also stuck in some sunny happy face erasers we had. 
This bath paint smelled so fresh and definitely made me think of summertime!
Sensory Activity

Just look at that happy face! :)

We did another simple sensory bin with licorice scented dyed black rice and all the yellow magnet letters I could find from our collection. This was a very casual way to introduce and identify a few letters as well. 
You can see how I colored and scented the rice, HERE.
I'll tell ya...the craziest thing happened. I sat my youngest (18 mo) down to play with this bin and he immediately picked up the lower case "e" and said "e!" I was like "whoa!"
 I dunno if it was by accident or what, but it was pretty crazy..and awesome!
Sensory Bin

Our simple "Lemonade" sensory bin was a big hit for both boys. I used some fake ice cubes (which I found at Goodwill) and a few fake lemons from the dollar store, along with some yellow food coloring in some water scented with lemon essential oil (you can also use lemon extract). My oldest especially loved this, as he "sold" me many glasses of fresh lemonade. 
Sensory Bin

What else did we do?
Here are a few other very simple ways we focused on "yellow" this week

-We picked the books with yellow covers to read during storytimes.

-The boys both wore yellow shirts one day this week

-We found this super YELLOW themed song on Youtube that we played a billion and one times this week haha! See the song HERE

-We at some "yellow" foods such as bananas, scrambled eggs, corn on the cob, and spaghetti squash.

-We identified yellow ALL over the place. If something was yellow, I identified it and said it outloud. 
"The banana is yellow."  "This book is yellow." "What color is your shirt? Your shirt is yellow!" 
You can never have too much repetition! However, we didn't leave out or ignore other colors though. In our everyday play I still identified other colors, I just put a lot of focus on yellow specifically!

-We didn't get around to making yellow play dough this week, but colored play dough is easy to make and is a great sensory experience and fine motor activity for toddlers. Click HERE  for a few different ways to make homemade play dough from the Imagination Tree

Ideas from others
Here are a few other fun YELLOW  ideas i've found!

Question from a reader: 
I am wondering what your older son did while your 19 month old was playing with the sensory bin and the water bin? Did they play together? I have a 2.5 year old who definitely won't want to be left out, but am afraid she will "hog" the sensory items. Maybe I should make 2 of everything?! 

 Yes, the boys usually played together. Although sometimes my oldest enjoys when my youngest has his "own" activities so he can freeplay for a bit without his brother knocking over his block castle or taking all the matchbox cars lol. There are also activities that I slightly adjusted for my oldest so he could participate on a higher learning level. There will be more of that in week 2 with Green, but for example with the black rice bin with the yellow letters...the boys did play together, but I focused on identifying the letters in the bin more with my 4 year old than the 18 month old while they played. A few times I have split up the sensory bin "ingredients" into two bins though which is easy to do and does seem to lessen the quarreling at times.

Make sure you join me next Monday (3/11/13) as the Color of the Week Series continues with Green!

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  1. You are brave to get out the Easter grass! I love that Eric Carle book, we got it a year or so ago as a Kohls Cares for Kids $5 special!

  2. These are great ideas for introducing colours - will def be doing some of these with my 18month old!

  3. Thanks for all the great ideas! I'll be pulling them out in a few months for my toddler. Right now we're just working on staying out of the garbage can. :)

  4. I am totally doing this! What a good mom ;)

  5. We had so much fun with yellow week! My 2 year old loved it and my 4 year old loved being my helper. They played together and I was able to gear the activities toward both of my daughters developmentally! Can't wait for next week!!!

  6. Lemon eats away certain plastics and styrofoam. It's good for your body, for that reason, because it cleans toxins out. That is why the bigger balloons popped, the plastic was thinner so the lemon got to them more quickly.

  7. I love so many of your ideas!! Just a question about the color themed baths - Id love to do them, but do your kids not splash and get the whole bathroom sticky with the colored water (like the koolaid one?).. and also do you rinse them down afterwards so theyre actually clean?

  8. Thanks so much! I've been looking for a way to formally introduce colours to my 18-month-old - this series is perfect!

  9. Does the color bath dye make you kiddos skin that color?


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