Yesterday as we were sitting down for breakfast, I noticed that there happened to be several yellow objects cluttering up the kitchen counter together. Then I saw the clear vase on the shelf, and got the idea! I put the objects in the vase and set them on the table. “Who can tell me what these objects have in common?” YELLOW! MJ quickly hopped up to collect a few more yellow objects for our table centerpiece. It looks bright and sun-shiney next to our vase of sunflowers! Kids love having a special job for meal-time – choosing/ creating the centerpiece is a great one that even tots can do! (Or passing out the forks and napkins.)
Expand the connections and extend the fun: Why stop with the colorful centerpiece? Let your child choose a “color of the week”! Dress in it, make a front door decoration featuring it so everyone knows what your featured color is. Go to the grocery store to buy food of this color and prepare a meal! Use food coloring in the bath tub to make it that color. Read books that are that color, or are about objects that color. Draw sidewalk chalk pictures of objects that are that color (in that color of course). As you are driving, play a game to see who can spy the most objects of that color. You will be amazed how this focus helps you and your child to notice so much more together. Go to the park or the mall and sit on a bench – keep tally marks of the number of people you see wearing that color. Walk around the house looking for play objects of that color and create a special shelf or basket for them for the week. Cut and paste with paper of that color – maybe different shades. Make a color collage, cutting out pics from magazines of items of that color. Learn how to say the color in several languages! Finger-paint and face-paint in that color. Make play-dough or biscuit dough in that color.
Not only are you having fun together, but your child is also learning classification and labeling skills, creative thinking and observation skills – all critical for healthy cognitive development. Let me know how it goes!