Toddler and Pre-school Theme Days
Having colour theme days is a great way to introduce/teach/reinforce the colours to your toddler.
When my youngest son was 2 ½ he showed no interest in learning his colours. We read him a few books about colours and used his colour sorting toys but he still mixed them up. Once we started these theme days he caught on quickly and started to proudly exclaim what colours he was wearing or what colours were on his toys without prompting. He even named what Colour Day he wanted to do next.
My eldest son was a little jealous about his little brother getting special theme days so we started to wait until he got home from school to do the colour hunts.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do.
Go through your crayons, markers, paints and construction/craft paper and remove all the orange ones to use for this theme.
Set aside any dishes (cups, plates, bowls, plastic spoons etc.) you may have that are orange and use these for snacks, lunch, dinner etc..
Set aside orange clothes for your child to wear that day (and yourself, too, if you’d like).
I couldn’t think of a children’s songs but for fun you could download from your favourite music provider the REM tune “Orange Crush” and dance around the living room.
Go online to your favourite search engine to find colouring pages of orange things or favourite orange characters like Zoe from Sesame Street. Use orange crayons and orange markers to colour. Help your child cut the pictures out to glue in your Family Theme Day scrapbook.
Materials: Orange paper, old magazines, child-safe scissors, washable glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Look through old magazines with your child and have him/her point out anything orange he/she sees.
· Step 2: Help your child cut out the orange pictures from the magazine to make a pile of orange pictures.
· Step 3: Show your child how to glue the pictures onto the orange sheet of paper to make a collage and then let him/her glue the pictures on the paper however he/she likes.
· Step 4: When the collage is dry display (fridge, bulletin board, child’s door) or glue into Family Theme Scrapbook.
Materials: Orange crayons and markers, sheet of orange paper, child-safe scissors, glue stick, stapler, my Orange Things Colouring Page, a facecloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Sit with your child as he/she colours each object on the colouring page orange.
· Step 2: Help your child cut out the individual pictures.
· Step 3: Fold the sheet of orange paper into three parts (as if you were going to put it in an envelope) and cut along the folds to make three green triangles.
· Step 4: Fold each of these three orange pieces of paper in half and cut along the fold to make six small orange sheets of paper.
· Step 5: Have your child apply glue to each coloured picture and glue each one to a small sheet of orange paper.
· Step 6: Help your child staple the sheet together to make a little book.
· Step 7: Read the book together to review the colour orange.
Search through your child’s books to find any that teach the colours and flip to the Orange pages.
Go to the library before hand to find some colour books. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (type in “Orange” or “Colors” and Children’s Books). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Try some of these titles if you can find them:
· Orange Pear Apple Bear, by Emily Gravett, Simon And Shuster Books for Young Readers, 2005 – With simple water colour illustrations this book uses only 5 words: orange, pear, apple, bear and there., and while it is not about the colour orange, the continual use of the fruit orange highlights the colour.
· Leon the Chameleon, by Melanie watt, Kids Can Press, 2001 – A cute book about a little chameleon who is different from the others in that he changes to the complementary or contrasting colour which makes it a good review of the colours.
· I Feel Orange Today, story by Patricia Godwin and art by Kitty Macaulay, Annick Press Ltd., 1993 – a good review of colours as this book explores the feelings behind orange, grey, blue etc. days.
· Canada in Colours, by Per-Henrik Gürth, Kids Can Press, 2008 – Great bright illustrations show all the colours in various places in Canada.
Chopped or sliced orange pepper, carrots and dip make a great orange vegetable snack.
Orange slices or segments, or mandarin oranges in the snack cups, along with sliced peaches (canned or fresh), and sliced cantaloupe melon makes an orange fruit salad.
Cubed orange cheddar cheese and some small orange cheese flavoured crackers (like my son’s favourite: Fish Crackers) make another yummy orange snack.
Orange juice - for a special treat buy a small bottle of orange juice (somehow a bottle is much more exciting than juice poured from a big container).
For something different try some orange milk (yes, this really exists; look in the diary section of your local grocery store next to the chocolate milk).
Try some pumpkin soup or butternut squash soup (like Knorr’s Orange Soup with carrot, butternut squash and curry ) or make your own (search online or in a cookbook for an easy recipe).
Serve cooked carrots or roasted pumpkin or butternut squash at supper time as a side (It’s a great excuse to put orange vegetables on your little one’s plate) or make some sweet potato French fries.
Orange Jello—Make this in the morning or early afternoon so it will be ready for dessert at dinnertime. Follow package instructions.
For a non-prep dessert serve orange sorbet.
If your child likes to help you bake whip up a batch of carrot or pumpkin muffins, or a carrot cake for some orange inspired treats.
Materials: Orange squares of paper in a sandwich bag (optional) or a orange crayon or marker, glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers, print out the List of Orange Things worksheet.
· Step 1: Explain to your child that you are on a hunt for the colour orange.
· Step 2: Walk around the house and/ or outside to look for orange things.
· Step 3: When your child finds something orange you will write the name of the object etc. on a slip of orange paper (or directly on the chart) and your child will glue the orange square on the sheet (or colour the square with an orange crayon).
· Step 4: At the end of the hunt sit down and count out loud together how many orange things were found. Review what you found by reading the chart out loud.
Search through your child’s toys to find any that are orange to play with.
Play with orange play dough or modelling clay.
Play “I Spy with My Little Eye” looking for only orange things.
Show your child how orange is made by mixing red and yellow paint and then have fun painting together (don’t forget to set out newspaper or a plastic sheet before hand and to wear old clothes or a painting smock).
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find shows with Orange characters like Zoe from Sesame Street or with the theme of teaching colours.
Try this title for a perfect toddler show that highlights many colours:
· Baby Einstein: Baby Van Gogh – World of Colour
END OF THE DAY:
Don’t forget to eat your Orange Jello.
Photo: Larry K
Lots of orange oranges!