Primary Colour Sorting
Any material can be used for this, although using different materials to create a sensory experience would be wonderful: popsicle sticks, feathers, pom poms, cut up construction paper, etc.
Sorting and Transfer
As an extension opportunity, after you feel that your child has fully grasped the colour distinctions between red, blue, and yellow, add a new challenge to the sorting activity. You can use tongs, spoons, or chopsticks for the transfer, depending on the material that you choose.
We also sorted our food, mixing blueberries, raspberries, and corn kernals in a small white bowl and providing Ella with red, blue, and yellow bowls (from ikea) to sort them into… the blueberries never made it to their bowl.
Montessori Colour Box 1
Primary Week is also a great time to introduce the Montessori Colour Box 1. This is a simple set of matching primary-coloured tablets, that is built upon with Colour Boxes 2, 3, and 4, which introduce more colours, different hues/colour gradients, and are increasingly difficult. As these tablets are self-correcting without the need for markings on the underside of the tablets, you can extend this matching activity into a memory game.
Primary Coloured Water Balloon Game
As a sensory and outdoor activity, we found some biodegradable water balloons and played a game of yelling the colour of the balloon before throwing it. If you can’t find water balloons that you feel comfortable using (especially if you fear that a dog or younger child may eat them before you get a chance to pick them up), coloured sponges can be soaked and thrown, or simply using different coloured balls would work. Gross motor, hand-eye co-ordination, nature study.
Primary Coloured Sensory Bins & Bath
You can revisit your child’s favourite sensory bins from the previous weeks, or create a new hybrid, something that encompasses all of the primary colours in one bin. I chose to make a beach-themed sensory bin, with yellow cornmeal sand, blue epsom salts, red pompoms (“beach balls”), a red drink umbrella, and a red rake. I would avoid using materials that would blend colours, as that is something better to explore in the following weeks, and also red/blue/yellow are bound to make a yucky brown… though many children will still enjoy that!
Following on the concept that colour mixing should be saved for later weeks, I attempted to encourage art activities with mediums that would not blend, and would allow each colour to stand out, setting out only blue, red, and yellow crayons and markers, but I provided other colours when asked.
Ella was excited to have blue, red, and yellow bath crayons for bath time. We used our remaining blue epsom salts to dye the water blue and then added the yellow ducks and red matryoshka nesting dolls.
Primary Coloured Storytime
We read our favourite books from previous weeks, but for older children a fun extension would be making mad libs or poems that feature the different colours, or purposefully mixing up the colours of items that the child knows:
“Little Yellow Riding Hood went off into the field to pick some red dandelions to add to the basket of blue apples that she was bringing to Grandmother.”
Primary Coloured Food
I tried my best to incorporate a red, blue, and yellow food at most meals. This is what I came up with, but feel free to do what works for your family (and feel free to have an older child help brainstorm):
- blue corn tortilla chips with “yellow” (regular) hummus and red pepper hummus
- corn on the cob with blueberry-glazed steak and ketchup
- purple sweet potatoes (turn blue), baked polenta “fries” and ketchup
- mangoes cubes, blueberries, and raspberries (older children could place them on a kabob)
- corn, tomato, and blue corn tortilla chips sprinkled over spinach salad
- homemade pizza with red sauce, yellow and blue cheese
- black pudding (yes, I was informed it wasn’t blue), poached eggs, and ketchup
- If you are not food-dye adverse, this obviously opens up a lot more options for you! There are natural food dye options, but we have not fully explored these, yet.
- Please share any ideas that you come up with!
Primary Colours Week is a great time to re-use (or use up!) any supplies from the past three weeks and revisit favourite activities that your child enjoyed. Keep in mind that there will be an opportunity for a Rainbow Week at the end of the series, so don’t feel like you need to use up everything.
How are you going to celebrate Primary Colours Week?