It’s Blue Week in our Colour of the Week Series!
Every week we will be bringing you a Montessori-inspired toddler colour study until we cover each colour of the rainbow – this week we are learning about the color blue.
Ella was so excited to wake up Monday morning to exclusively blue outfits laid out for her in her drawer. We also painted our toe nails blue with a formaldehyde-free polish. Practical life.
Blue Art Appreciation
We purchased this beautiful painting while on vacation in Chicago, so I temporarily relocated it to G’s art wall for the week. For older children, various blue pictures ranging from different art movements could be included in their art study, or several “blue” paintings from the same artist, for example Van Gogh created many blue-dominant pieces, or Picasso had a “blue period.” Art and cultural appreciation.
There are surprisingly few blue food options other than things involving blueberries, but in addition to eating way too many homemade blueberry muffins and two pints of organic blueberries, we ate organic blue corn tortilla chips with homemade hummus, blue cheese (incorporated into several meals including a wedge salad), and baked purple sweet potato fries! (Purple sweet potatoes turn blue once cooked.) Practical life and nutrition.
Blue Waterbead Sensory Bin
Our first sensory bin of the week saw our giant bowl filled with dyed blue water and several handfuls of water beads. G didn’t know that the water beads were in the bowl, so it was a wonderful surprise for her to reach into what she thought was just a bowl of water and find these soft, squishy orbs! (They are completely clear when in the water, but they are the shiny white circles that you see in the above picture.)
I also introduced wet pouring with this activity, though we are currently searching for smaller vessels — possibly small milk jugs, the type used at fancy teas? G is in charge of watering her plants, so she was able to handle the large pitcher, but I still think that it needs to be changed out. Practical life, sensorial, and gross motor.
Blue Epsom Salt Tray & Sensory Bath
I dyed a carton of epsom salts blue and added some coconut extract for scent before adding it to this tray along with letters from our moveable alphabet to spell out Ella’s name.
When we were done with the epsom salts as a sensory tray, I brought out a blue ice cream scoop and set up a bath side invitation for G to scoop the salts into the bath. Control of error: no salty messes. Practical life.
Funny enough, these simple sensory bins seem to be explored for longer periods of time and returned to more often during the week than my more elaborate constuctions. Hm. Sensory, language development, and letter recognition.
We included blue measuring cups, blue sponges, and a blue bath crayon. Sensory.
Blue Art & Language
We made a birthday card for G’s Papa by using a blue bingo dapper and trying to dot some “blueberries” into a red bowl outline that I drew. (This was successful at 23 months.)
We also attempted to trace G’s name with the bingo dapper, but this control was a bit too difficult and after some success on the first letter, she stated that she was “all done.” I would instead recommend this activity for the 2.5 and over age group. Control of error would be whether or not the dots were on the line or in the bowl. Fine motor.
G and her Grandpa watched videos of maltese tigers, whales, blue jays, and “Dory” fish… I’m not fully convinced that he didn’t just watch Finding Nemo with her, but at least it has lots of blue. G and I also watched some Youtube videos on the deep ocean. Nature study.
Blue Gross Motor
As a great nature study/gross motor/sensory mash-up, we visited Nana and Papa’s house to go swimming. We talked about how the sky and water are both blue, and how the water reflects the sky even when the sky changes colour. We felt the warm, scratchy towels and the cold, wet water. We also found and “rescued” a few drowning bugs. Nature study, gross motor, manners, spiritual development, and sensory.
We read, danced, and sang along to Baby Beluga. We also talked about how sometimes when people say that they feel blue, it means that they feel sad, so we learned this Eryka Badu song. While G tolerated some of Joni Mitchell’s Blue (a mama favourite), she perked up when we played some blues music by Keb’ Mo’. I don’t have much blues music — for shame — so we eventually put on a New Orleans Christmas CD, which G LOVED! (There’s no hard and fast rules for this – we’re really exploring a concept of music expressing things, so don’t feel like you need the perfect soundtrack to make this work.) Gross motor, language development, and sensory.