Red is currently Ella’s favourite colour, so we had lots of red props to decorate our playroom with, as well as plenty of red clothing to last the week.
Red Art Appreciation
I hung several pictures and illustrations of red balloons (borrowed from our bedroomballoon wall) over top of Ella’s art table. I also had two red Minnie Mouse mylar balloons from her first birthday party filled, partially to help build excitement about TURNING TWO! Sensory, artistic inspiration, vocabulary development.
Our first of two red sensory bins this week used red Styrofoam flower beads as the main filler along with red matryoshka doll measuring cups from FredFlare. I didn’t anticipate how static the beads would be, and I’m surprised that Ella didn’t seem more frustrated by this; she simply retrieved a spoon from her play-kitchen and used that to help scrape the beads out of the cups after discovering that they would stick to her fingers. Eventually we took the measuring cups out of the bowl and used them to practice dry pouring red pompoms. Sensory, practical life.
A much more successful sensory bin was our red mulch potting bin; the mulch was left over from my mom’s garden and it had a wonderful cedar smell. I rubbed a few pieces really hard between my hands to ensure that there was no chance of splinters. I initially just introduced the mulch in the bin with the other materials clearly visible. Ella was curious about the mulch but she was in a bit of a dainty mood, so after a few pokes she quickly added the pots to scoop and pour the mulch into, and then “planted” the fake roses. Practical life, care of environment, sensory.
Red Sensory Bath
This was our first sensory bath using Kool-aid, and I was a bit worried that it would dye Ella’s skin and/or my bath; it didn’t, but I think we will stick to using scented and dyed Epsom salts, as not only do they provide health benefits, they can be used in a sensory bin or craft before the bath, and then Ella can have fun scooping, sprinkling, or pouring the salt into the bath and watch the colour transformation take place gradually.
We introduced our red scoop for the first time, as I thought water would be the easiest material to initially explore with it; Ella learned that she had to hold the scoop at very precise angles to pour water from the cup into the scoop — and back — without spilling. Sensory, practical life, letters and symbol recognition.
Ride-on Car Gross Motor Fun
Ella has a wooden toy red car, which I featured in storytime about driving to her favourite places, before taking her outside to ride her red PlasmaCar. Gross motor skills, vocabulary enrichment.
Once your child was used to steering their ride-on car, you could:
- create “stations” for your child to drive their car to (nothing elaborate necessary, simple “symbols” of the stop would be exciting)
- making a path or “road” with sidewalk chalk for your child to follow
- provide sponges and soapy water to clean the car, or even singing (or reciting) songs or poems about driving. Adds: sensory, practical life, music.
Red Riding Hood Meets the Pirate
I told Ella the story of Red Riding Hood, using a bonnet, wolf hat, and red hooded cape as character props, and then provided her with the cape, a small basket, and a trail of red jewels to follow and pick up. Ella wisely corrected me that pirates hunt for treasure, and so she found her pirate hat in her costume box while I added a quick, last-minute element to our trail of jewels: a treasure basket! Vocabulary enrichment.
This provided an additional element of sorting to our treasure hunt, as Ella had to sort the jewels from the coins and place the coins in her piggy bank. We have since recreated this activity at least three times, at Ella’s request, likely just because she wants to fill her piggy bank! Fine motor skills, sorting, sequencing.
We later used the red jewels in a counting exercise with our Montessori wooden number tablets. Number recognition, counting.
Red Craft & Patriotism
We practiced gluing red paper maple leafs to “Canadian flags.” Fine motor, symbol recognition.
Exploring Red Foods
We practiced cutting the stems off of radishes and beets and the hulls off of strawberries, and then made radish “chips,” Sophie Dahl’s Borscht soup (minus the vodka), as well as Strawberries and “Cream” (9% milk fat greek yogurt). We also had red pasta sauce on noodles (way.too.many.times.), tried red rice, roasted and peeled red peppers, and drank red Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait iced tea from David’s.
For an older child, it might be a cool “science” experiment to cook a red meat and learn about the colour change and temperatures. Practical life, fine motor, sensory, science.
Exploring “Red Music”
For music, we started learning the keys on Ella’s red (toy) piano; I loved integrating music into the study of the alphabet, a topic that I have somewhat neglected in favour of pursuing Ella’s other interests. Look forward to some great alphabet learning activities soon!
We also played “99 Red Balloons”… over and over again… new rule: only introducing songs that I can stand if Ella wants to put them on repeat. Sensory, letter recognition, music.
Exploring Red Animals
We learned about red animals but really focused on red parrots, and played a “parrot” game of repeating everything the other person said. This activity was done on a day that Ella has supper with her grandparents, and they were slightly baffled at her insistence that she was a parrot 😉 Vocabulary enrichment, listening.
What would you do to celebrate and learn the colour red?
Be sure to check out the other colour studies in our Colour of the Week series, and our other hands-on learning ideas! We also send out a free weekly newsletter full of inspiration, if you’d like to subscribe.