Fine Motor: Paint Chip Color Shade Match

Paint Chip color match

IMG_20160407_105613288Today is a rainy day, one of those days where you need to figure out how to keep the kiddo’s occupied without spending to much time outside. I will admit we almost always go outside fully dressed in rain gear from our heads to our toes, using an umbrella and jumping in puddles. Today unfortunately while we will go out side for some of the cool moist air my little guy has croup so there won’t be any puddle jumping.

IMG_20160407_105552124That’s okay because  I have thought of plenty of ways to help my little guy have fun and keep entertained on a sick rainy day. Of course these projects are awesome any day but today in particular they are really a matter of survival for me so that I can get my piles and piles of laundry done and I might just clean a dish or two.

IMG_20160407_105520213So how does this project work? Well its pretty simple and you can vary the difficulty level. First you need to visit your local paint or hardware store and pick out your favorite color paint chips. You can go very simple and get a paint chip that has only one hue on it. Or go a little harder and get one that has three shades of the same color. If you want to get particularly difficult go for one that has four shades and if you are going for the near impossible to figure out get two that are next to each other that are of the same color family. Or maybe its just impossible for me with my bad eye sight. Not sure, try it and let me know.

IMG_20160407_105515064Again with set up you have some choices if you are going very simple. Put out once card with the corresponding color clothespins and have the kids match up.

IMG_20160403_125741080More difficult put out several and have the kids sort through and match the colors up. Remember this isn’t only about color recognition and shade differentiation. This is about working those fine motor skills. So every time they pick up that paint chip or pinch that paper clip those fine motor muscles are strengthening those same muscles that will be used to button shirts and write with a pencil.

IMG_20160403_125601526Materials Needed:

Paint chips
clothes pins

1. Cut about a 1/2-3/4 inch strip from each paint chip.
2. Use that thin strip you just cut to color your clothespins by cutting the shades apart and then attaching them to your clothespins with glue ( I use hot glue)
3. Now set up on a tray or directly on the table and allow the kids to explore.

Fine Motor: Paint Stick Paint Chip Color Match Up

Paint Stick Color match
Say it three times really fast with me!
“Paint Stick paint Chip Color Match up!”
“Paint Stick paint Chip Color Match up!”
“Paint Stick paint Chip Color Match up!”

Whew! It’s not easy. Let’s get to it then shall we. Fine motor workouts are a must for preschool age kids. Getting them ready for all the necessary intricate movements they will need to take part in such as buttoning and zipping up clothes and using a pencil to write. The pinching and grasping motion is so helpful in strengthening those tiny but very important muscles.
What I love about this project is that it is basically FREE!
Visit your local paint or hardware store and peruse the paint chip aisle. Pick out a rainbow of paint chips and on your way out ask for a paint stick or two or three (They always come in handy), Super simple and FREE!
Once you are home get to work, I cut off about and inch off each paint chip
I used hot glue but you can use glue of your choice, glue a section of each paint chip to the paint stick and make a corresponding clothespin with the same color paint chip glued on.
on some paint sticks there is a ruler on one side and the other side with have other info usually store name etc. Ilike to glue on the store name. You never know when you might need another ruler around so keep it visible.
To set up for the project I used a tray to place the paint stick on and a bowl with the colored clothespins in it. Then let the children match up.
Materials Needed:
Paint Stick
Paint Chips
glue ( I use hot glue)
clothespins (If you don’t already have some I buy mine at the Dollar Store)
That’s it Easy Peasy Lemon Squeeezy!

HABA Shakin Eggs- How We learn with them

We love educational toys in this house. In fact so much that when we get a new toy the kids always say ” I can’t wait to LEARN with this ….”. HABA’s Shakin Eggs are no different. These adorable wooden eggs that are so beautifully made help with auditory recognition, color recognition, patterning, matching, fine and gross motor skills and so much more.
We are always working on auditory learning and sound differentiation in our house. Both my boys are speech delayed and so sounding out as well as just listening to different sounds is something we are constantly working on to make sure their hearing is not the issue.
Talking about colors was a no brainer. While yes these fantastic little eggs make beautiful sounds when shaken and twisted they are also delightfully colored. We talk about the different colors and also about how even though their are different shades of the same color they may look different but they belong to the same color family.
While talking about sounds we talk about each sound that particular egg makes so that I can ask for the egg that makes the shaka shaka sound, for the egg that makes the clickity click sound, the egg that makes the jingle sound etc. So that my son has to think and listen to each egg to find the sound I am asking him for.

Below is the different sounds these eggs make.

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Candyland- Life Sized you can make it too!

We made a life sized Candyland game. It is so easy to make use a large tarp and different color duct tape to create the spaces. Then a block for the kids to use as dice with different colors so they know which space to move to next!

IMG_20151107_150624835 IMG_20151107_150626852 IMG_20151107_150628816 IMG_20151107_150636376

Dyeing Pasta or Rice for the Sensory Table

Materials Needed:
Rubbing Alcohol or vinegar
Pasta or Rice
Food Coloring or Liquid Water Colors or tempera paint
bowls or Ziploc Baggies
Drying area
Paper towels or paper bag (to soak up excess liquid)

1. Portion out your DRY pasta/rice into equal amounts for color distribution. I also dyed some Quinoa below same recipe. Place the pasta/rice in bowls or ziploc baggies.
2. Cover the pasta/rice in rubbing alcohol you don’t want the pasta/rice to be floating just cover to the top if its being made in a bowl if in a ziploc bag you can use as little as 1 tbs for a quart size bag. I also have used vinegar if using vinegar use only 1 tsp per 1 cup of grain or pasta in a ziploc baggie.
3. Add food coloring/ liquid watercolors, tempera paint. STIR.
4. Let set for several hours. I let most batches set for 1-5 hours depending on how deep I want the color to be. I have let it set for 12-24 hours and the pasta turns out fine if you need to let it go overnight. Make sure that your bowls are covered with plastic wrap or your ziploc baggies are closed securely
5. Drain the liquid and place the pasta/rice on a drying area put paper towels/ paper bag/ parchment paper underneath them to soak up excess liquid
6. Let dry for at least 2 hours
7. Enjoy! The alcohol does not absorb into the pasta or rice so they stay dry and crisp even after soaking.

Variation: This can be done with cooked spaghetti noodles for a fun sensory tub experiment!

We made colored rice to play with out of some seriously expired rice and pasta. Hey, its still good for play not so much for eating though.

And Another take where I used Uncooked Pasta in a Sensory Table I added pipe cleaners so the kids could make necklaces and bracelets.

And a Rainbow Pasta sensory bin. I make my rainbow pasta by adding 1 Tablespoon of rubbing alcohol to 1 pound of pasta and enough food coloring or liquid colors to get the color intensity I want.