Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Clothespin Color Matching Game

I got the idea for this game somewhere on Pinterest, but I think it was from several sources combined or I'd give credit.

This game can be used to practice a combination of three content areas: Fine motor skills squeezing the clothespins, color recognition, and reading (particularly sight words). Currently, I am most interested in Natalie's fine motor skills, particularly squeezing because of the swelling she had in her fingers due to her JRA, but I also hope that she will start to recognize some of the letters. 

What you need:
11 clothes pins
6 index cards
Markers and / or paint
Black fine tip marker
Packing tape
Small shoe box

What to do:
I decided to go with 11 colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white, gray, black, and brown.  You could do more or less colors.

The first thing I did was paint the clothespins.  Natalie saw me doing this and it started an obsession with painting clothespins that lasted many days.  She probably could have painted all of them for me, well, expect that she liked to mix the colors.

I then cut index cards in fourths and colored them in with markers.  I could have painted them, but didn't want to go through the mess.  I would suggest painting the cards and the clothespins at the same time instead. At first, I only did one card of each color, but I then realized we could play two different way if I made two sets, so I went back and made another set.

I wrote the names of the colors on the clothespins and on the cards.  For one set of cards, I put the color names on the front, and for the other I put them on the back.  The ones like flash cards, I left as is, the others I attached to the box.  

At first I was going to use a Gerber Lil Crunchers canister for the container, but I then realized I had the shoe box from Natalie first pair of shoes.  This was a better size for 11 colors.   I decided what order I wanted to place the colors around the outside and how many to put per side.  I then glued them in place with a glue stick.  I put packing tape over them to prevent them from warping and falling off over time. 

Four Ways to Play:
  1. Use the clothes pins and the lose set of cards to match the colors.  
  2. Use the clothes pins and the outside of the box to match the colors.  
  3. Match the words on the back of the lose set of cards to the clothespins.  
  4. Match all three and use the clothespin to hold the lose card in place.  

Keep all the pieces inside the box!

  • Read a book about rainbows.  I've only read a two: What Makes a Rainbow by Betsy Shwartz and Duckie's Rainbow by Barry Frances.  Neither was excellent.  An Amazon search under children's books yields a lot more.
  • Sing "Rainbow Connection" or watch Kermit do it on YouTube.
  • There are tons and tons of color books for babies and toddlers.  Some of my favorites: Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do You See? by Bill Martin Jr, My First Colors by Dawn Sirett; Happy Baby Colors by Roger Priddy; A Red Train by Britt Techentrup; Red, Blue, Yellow Show by Tana Hoban; Hot Spicy Colors by Sherry Shahan; Maisy's Rainbow Dream by Lucy Cousins; I Love Colors by Margret Miller; and Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert.
  • Make  your own color book.   Use a piece of paper of each color for the  page and cover it with stickers, photos, cutouts, or drawings of things of that color.  Bind it with rainbow ribbon. 
  • You could do other games with colors, such as a game of memory with cards, sorting small objects of the same color into the cups muffin tin, a color scavenger hunt, or playing I Spy.  
  • You could use clothespins for what their made for and go hang up some laundry outside.  Even better, maybe make a tent with some sheets. 
  • Look for a rainbow or make your own.  You can use prisms to make a rainbow or a glass a water (Gordon will show you how in the Sesame Street mentioned next)
  • Watch Sesame Street episode 4200 when Elmo and Rosita go looking for a rainbow. 
  • Make rainbow fruit kabobs.  I made these for my sister's baby shower, but you could make them for a snack and just make a few.  We used strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, green grapes, blueberries, and red grapes.  You could try it with veggies, too, though blue might be a challenge. 
  • Try to make an outfit with an item of clothing using all the colors.  
  • Girls could paint their finger nails or toe nails using all the colors. 
  • There are lots of different ways you can play with color mixing, the easiest being paint. 
  • Older kids could write an acrostic poem using the world rainbow, or write one for each color. 

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