There are so many opportunities for you to make your own games and activities for your kids. A really helpful resource is the paint section at a hardware store. We’re in the process of picking out exterior paint colors for our house so I grabbed some extra colors to make a few things for Olive last time we were there. We probably shouldn’t all run to the store and take all of the paint chips though – they might start charging if they keep disappearing!
Paint chips can be used for a lot of things but since Olive is only 16 months old I kept this first activity simple. I’ll show you a few other ways it can be used though and some other tips to expand it.
I grabbed a few basic rainbow colors – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Using a paper cutter I cut off the name and number from each one and then cut them in half. Using packaging tape I taped one full set to a piece of cardboard.
I handed the free pieces to Olive, one at a time, this morning and she put them down in the correct place. So maybe I need to expand this idea for her already!
You can expand on this general idea by sticking them to a backing surface a little more nicely than I did (haha), by using many more colors, by making shapes, patterns, and pictures, writing the name of the color on the cards, ect.
You can also use other objects to match colors to ensure color generalization, such as the peg people below.
You can even turn it into a game – the good kind of game where there is no winner.. just fun! Put the pile of cards upside down, take turns turning a card over, and placing the corresponding peg person on the corresponding color, as shown below.
You can use the idea pictured above to make a large game board, kind of like Candyland. If your child is old enough you can invent a game together! You can incorporate numbers and letters and color names – the opportunities are endless.
You can work on fine color discrimination – such as the difference between certain shades of blue using the paint chips that come with 3-4 colors. If you get two of those you can keep one whole, cut up the other, and fix the pieces to the ends of clothespins and then have your child work on pinching the clothespin while matching colors.
You can ask your child to find items in your house to match to each color on a board such as the one pictured above. Or you can put the colored cards onto a bin and work on sorting colors with toys, blocks, puff balls, etc.
I would like to get a bunch of different colors and make alphabet flashcards for Olive to use when she’s a little older. It’ll be a lot more exciting than white cards with letters for sure! Maybe match up each color with the letter? Though I’m not sure what color starts with X…
The opportunities to use paint chips for fun and educational activities really are endless. I hope this gives you a few ideas! Pick up a stack of colors the next time you’re at the hardware store and give it a try. If you mess up or your child doesn’t like it you’re not really losing out on much – it’s quick and virtually free!
What kinds of homemade activities do you do with your children? I can’t wait to make more activities for Olive as she gets older.. to work on discrimination, sorting, labeling, fine motor, and more!