The other day I hosted the first meeting for our new toddler homeschool preschool. I wanted our first topic to be “classic preschool”—as well as something accessible to our 2-year-olds. I thought about doing a back-to-school theme but figured it was too abstract; instead, I chose to focus on toddler activities about color.
Kiwi is constantly learning about the world through colors. When she asks for a bowl, she specifies what hue she wants. She calls on things not just by their name (“dog”) but by what kind of dog (“white dog”). And about 100 times a day she holds up one finger and announces, “Blue. My favorite!” (Followed immediately by, “Purple. Peeper’s favorite!”)
A homeschool preschool curriculum filled with toddler activities about color, then, was right up these kids’ alley. They enjoyed the fine motor skills-tuning project, the sorting activity that works on pre-math skills, and of course plain ol’ art.
Do you have little ones that would love toddler activities about color? Try these! Even if your toddlers don’t know yellow from red, they’ll enjoy these activities—and learn at the same time.
Homeschool activities about color
Popsicle sorting activity
My aunt sent the girls a care package recently, and it included colored popsicle sticks. We hadn’t used them—and it turns out they’re perfect for this color sorting activity.
You just glue a piece of white paper to the top of a clean yogurt tub, poke holes in the top, color around each hole (in a shade that corresponds to the colors of your popsicle sticks) and let your kids have a blast!
This toddler activity about color encourages kids to not only sort by color (which is a pre-math skill) but also practice their fine motor skills by maneuvering the stick into the slot.
When they put all the popsicle sticks into the tub, dump them out and do it again!
Color sorting activity
The night before our homeschool preschool meeting, I taped sheets of paper of four different colors to a kid-sized table. I then filled gallon-sized Ziplock bags with random items around the house that corresponded to each of the four colors.
The kids were curious about the “goodie bags”—and as soon as they opened them, they began matching their items (a yellow corn from the girls’ play food collection) to the corresponding color paper.
Sorting seems obvious to us adults, but toddlers are just learning this skill. It’s important to practice sorting of various sorts so they’re later ready to tackle more advanced math concepts, like addition and subtraction. Sorting by color is a great way to start, since they’re so used to labeling things by color.
Books about colors
We have story time at our homeschool preschool circle time, and I chose several books about colors. (These are affiliate links, so clicking and buying earns me a few pennies.)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is one of my all-time favorite books for toddlers. I sing it (to the beginning tune of “Twinkle Twinkle”), which makes it even more interactive for kids. I also ask the kids what sound each animal makes, so they have more opportunities to engage with the book.
We also read Bear Sees Colors. (I know, weird that they’re both about bears!) I love this picture book by Karma Wilson because of the bouncing rhyme of the text and because it encourages kids to point out what they see on each page.
In addition to the two books I read aloud, I had a small stack of books children could leaf through or read with their parent. I included Green is a Chile Pepper, Jumbo’s Jungle Colors and Blue Chameleon (which is also a great book to talk about feelings!).
Exploring color through process art
I like crafts, but I like process art even more. Process art—allowing kids to explore color, texture, line, shape and hue without a specific end product as a goal—encourages creativity and keeps the pressure off little learners. Toddlers don’t necessarily have the skill to make, say, a perfect ladybug with construction paper and pipe cleaners, and the “failure” to make their craft look how it’s supposed to can make some children anxious.
Instead of setting up a particular craft, I set out paper, crayons and markers of all different colors. At 2 years old, these toddlers just scribbled—and that’s perfectly fine (and age appropriate).
The point is to give them a fun, safe space to get hands-on with toddler activities about color.
Toddlers learning about color
The kiddos we hosted for our first toddler homeschool preschool meeting had a blast. And really, that’s what homeschool preschool is all about: giving toddlers a chance to learn in a way that feels, well, like fun.
Kiwi and her buddies will continue to learn about all sorts of ideas and concepts—including colors—at their weekly homeschool preschool meetings. We can’t wait!