I found the idea for this color matching game from Thrive 360 Living and it was a lot of fun to put together! I made car and wheel templates and traced them onto rectangular pieces of white cardstock. After using colored pencils to fill the cars in, I laminated them with contact paper for durability. I ordered some wooden wheels over Amazon and painted those with my acrylic paints during nap time. Eek! I love painting things!
It’s a pretty self-explanatory activity. You give the wheels to the child and have them put them on the matching car. In the early stages, just have them focus on one car at a time. Later on, you can give them the whole stack and let them at it!
I love using this curriculum (that my awesome mom gave me last Christmas!!) with Abby! It not only occupies her attention for long periods of time, but it’s something she can play with on her own when I need to accomplish something. In other words, it is a major win. Our usual routine with this particular part of the set is to say each number as we lay it out. Then, I will let her fit in all the pegs while I’m busy with other things. Once she gets the pegs in, we sit back down and count how many are on each “card.” Letting her put the pegs in herself allows her to handle the pegs and do some color sorting as she’s getting them put in the “cards.” Both of these are necessary elements of the game for her – trust me! She currently loves counting to one or two on her own. With help, she can count to ten (she will remember some of the numbers as we go).
This flannel board is something I made back in college and have used over and over again. If you want to make your own, just buy a thin piece of wood at your local lumber store and enough flannel to cover it (overlapping slightly). Grab a buddy to help you stretch the fabric tight (you want it as tight as possible so it doesn’t bubble up) and staple gun it down. If you have a more permanent residence (aka house), feel free to staple gun it straight onto a wall somewhere. If we ever switch from our apartment lifestyle, you can be sure I will be attaching mine to a wall as it makes it more sturdy.
Flannel boards are excellent for story telling/retelling and all kinds of other wonderful things, but this post is about color sorting. I printed off various pictures (I like to print off outlined images so I save on ink and get to color them in myself – I love coloring!), cut them out and laminated them with contact paper for durability. After sticking a small piece of velcro on the back of each picture, we were ready to go!
When first introducing this activity, I would stick a color word card on the flannel board, read it, and have Abby find all of the matching objects. For example, I would put up the word, “Blue” and she would find all of the blue pictures and put them up as well. You can make this as easy or challenging as you want to. If your child is struggling with it, have less colors in the pile they have to sort through.
Once Abs had mastered finding one color, I had her start finding two colors at once and put them under the correct color as pictured. Since we were really working on this right when she was starting to talk, it was a great way to build her vocabulary as well. She enjoyed saying the name of each picture as she put it up. Sometimes, I would ask her to put specific pictures up on the board. For example, “Can you stick the green tractor up on the flannel board?” This was reinforcing color and helping her associate a word with a picture.
One of my preschool goals with Abby over the next year is to go through the alphabet twice, focusing on one letter each week. Since she is currently just a year and half old, the first time through won’t be too intense (although she does already know most of her letters and even their sounds).
For our first week, we did the letter “Aa.” On Monday I introduced the letter name and sound (short vowel), followed by reading a letter “Aa” board book from my box of Baby Einstein Alphabooks (yet another garage sale win!).
Finally, we ended by doing a letter activity that focused on “Aa.” I will dedicate a future post to my letter activities. 🙂 We followed the same basic routine for the rest of the week, rereading our letter “Aa” book and completing a letter activity. On Friday, I ended the week by having Abby color four pictures of objects starting with “A.” I cut them out and she used a glue stick (not quite ready for bottled glue haha!) to stick them onto an “Aa is for” blank page I had printed out for her preschool alphabet book. I like the idea of having something we can use to review what we learned later on and she absolutely loves her school books! She has one for alphabet related activities and one for math/other.
One other thing I decided on adding was a picture and word card activity. On Tuesday, I showed Abby a picture of an “apple” along with the corresponding word card. We talked about how “apple” started with “a.” As we progress, she will have more and more word/picture cards and I will have her find either a picture or word to match the one I am holding. It will help her start recognizing and sounding out words.
I’ll try to throw in a letter themed snack at least once a week for something fun as well. This time it was apple juice and apple slices!