I have been working on colors with Smiley Man for about a month and a half now and he is slowly starting to make some connections when it comes to color. He is still young (21 months) and I don’t expect him to know all of his colors by the time the series ends. However, all of these color games and activities have been great.
Today’s game to teach colors is pretty easy. Several months ago, I did a busy bag exchange with several moms in my neighborhood. One of the bags that I got from the exchange was a Popsicle Stick Color Matching game. To make this game you will need just a few supplies.
- Felt in different colors (or cardstock in different colors)
- Popsicle sticks
- Hot glue gun (or sewing machine)
First, cut out two rectangles from each piece of felt (or cardstock) that you have chosen to use. I just have the 6 colors of the rainbow, but feel free to make as many different colors as you want. To know what size to cut the rectangles, you can just eyeball it. It’s not that hard. ;)
Once you have two rectangles cut from each color, hot glue around three sides of one rectangle. Leave the bottom edge (a short edge) open. That is where the popsicle stick will go. Now just put the other rectangle over the glue and let it dry. You can also use a sewing machine to sew the three sides closed, but if you don’t know how to sew, hot glue will work just fine, too.
Once you have glued all of your felt into “popsicles,” get your popsicle sticks ready. You will need one popsicle stick per color. For toddlers, color the end of each popsicle stick with the color of the popsicle it will match. I just used markers to do the coloring.
If you want, you can also write the name of the color on the other side. I wrote the name of the color with that color of marker.
For preschoolers, write the name of the color using a black marker.
How to teach your toddler the colors
Hold up a popsicle stick or have your child choose a popsicle stick. Ask them the color on the end or have them guess the color. Now have your toddler find the matching “popsicle.”
Now your child can insert the popsicle stick into the correct color of “popsicle.” Pretend licking of the popsicle must occur. That is always Smiley Man’s favorite part. Continue until all popsicles are matched. I should note that putting the popsicle stick into the popsicle is not always easy for Smiley Man. Sometimes he gets the angle just right and the popsicle stick goes in without trouble. Sometimes he can’t get the popsicle stick in and then he gets frustrated. If he is having a hard time and I can tell he is getting frustrated, I’ll just put the popsicle stick in for him and we’ll move on to the next color.
How to play with preschoolers
Set the popsicle sticks and “popsicles” in front of your preschooler. Have them choose a popsicle stick and read (or at least guess based on the beginning sound) the color on it. Once they have correctly read (or guessed) the color, have them put the correct color “popsicle” on the popsicle stick. Pretend licking of the popsicle must occur. :)
Both of my kids love this game (mostly because of the pretend licking), but it is great for teaching colors. It also uses fine motor skill when the popsicle stick is inserted into the popsicle. This is a great way to teach a child colors. If you’re still wondering how to teach a toddler colors, check out all of our other color games for toddlers.