Toddler and Pre-school Theme Days
Having colour theme days is a great way to introduce/teach/reinforce the colours to your toddler.
When my youngest son was 2 ½ he showed no interest in learning his colours. We read him a few books about colours and used his colour sorting toys but he still mixed them up. Once we started these theme days he caught on quickly and started to proudly exclaim what colours he was wearing or what colours were on his toys without prompting. He even named what Colour Day he wanted to do next.
My eldest son was a little jealous about his little brother getting special theme days so we started to wait until he got home from school to do the colour hunts.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do.
Go through your crayons, markers, paints and construction/craft paper and remove all the brown ones to use for this theme.
Set aside any dishes (cups, plates, bowls, plastic spoons etc.) you may have that are brown and use these for snacks, lunch, dinner etc..
Set aside brown clothes for your child to wear that day (and yourself, too, if you’d like).
For some dancing fun download from your favourite music provider Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.”
Go online to your favourite search engine to find colouring pages of brown things or favourite brown characters or animals or print out my Brown Things Colouring Page. Use brown crayons and brown markers to colour.
Materials: Brown paper and white paper, old magazines, child-safe scissors, washable glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Look through old magazines with your child and have him/her point out anything brown he/she sees.
· Step 2: Help your child cut out the brown pictures from the magazine to make a pile of brown pictures.
· Step 3: Show your child how to glue the pictures onto the brown sheet of paper to make a collage and then let him/her glue the pictures on the paper however he/she likes.
· Step 4: When the collage is dry display (fridge, bulletin board, child’s door) or glue into Family Theme Scrapbook.
Materials: Brown crayons and markers, sheet of brown paper, child-safe scissors, glue stick, stapler, magazine pictures of red things or my Brown Things Colouring Page, a facecloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Sit with your child as you sort through magazine for brown things, or as your child colours each object on the colouring page brown, or as your child draws his/her own brown things for the booklet (six in total).
· Step 2: Help your child cut out the individual pictures.
· Step 3: Fold the sheet of brown paper into three parts (as if you were going to put it in an envelope) and cut along the folds to make three brown rectangles.
· Step 4: Fold each of these three brown pieces of paper in half and cut along the fold to make six small sheets of paper.
· Step 5: Have your child apply glue to each brown picture and glue each on to a small sheet of brown paper.
· Step 6: Help your child staple the sheets together to make a little booklet.
· Step 7: Read the book together to review the colour brown.
Paint with brown paint (set out newspaper or a plastic sheet before hand and don’t forget to wear old shirts or art smocks).
Search through your child’s books to find any that teach the colours and flip to the brown pages.
Go to the library before hand to find some colour books or find a fairy tale book. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (type in “Brown” or “Colours” under Children’s Books). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Try some of these titles if you can find them:
· Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin and illustrated by Eric Carle, Holt, Rienhart, and Winston, 1967 – I love Eric Carle’s illustrations in this colour review book about different coloured animals.
· Be Brown, by Barbara Bottner and illustrated by Barry Gott, Putnam & Grosset, 2002 – With very little words and funny illustrations this book tells the story of a bossy boy and his disobedient dog as they try to find a command the dog will follow: “Be brown.”
· Count the Ways, Little Brown Bear, by Jonathan London and illustrated by Margie Moore, Dutton Children's Books, 2002 – A sweet counting book of sorts with Mama Brown Bear telling Little Brown Bear to count the ways she loves him.
Whole wheat crackers are an easy brown snack. If your child has no nut allergies try adding peanut butter or almond butter as a topping (or Nutella for a European flare or Vegemite if you can find it for an Australian snack).
Chocolate milk whether made with the powder or from a bottle or carton is a delicious brown treat.
Ingredients: brown (whole wheat) bread, cinnamon, brown or white sugar.
Step 1: Mix two tablespoons of sugar with 1 tsp of cinnamon in a bowl (or in a container with a lid so you can make more and it will keep for longer) or to taste.
Step 2: Toast bread in a toaster.
Step 3: Spread with butter immediately after it has toasted (if it is still warm the butter will melt as you spread it which is exactly what you want).
Step 4: Sprinkle cinnamon mixture on top of buttered toast.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Make a sandwich on whole wheat bread.
Hamburgers or veggie burgers on whole wheat buns with French fries make a brownish meal.
Chocolate Pudding – follow box instructions or make from scratch by searching for a recipe online or in your own cookbooks.
Chocolate ice cream is an easy brown dessert.
Serve anything chocolate like a chocolate bar, chocolate cookie, chocolate cake or chocolate cup cake!
Materials: Brown squares of paper in a sandwich bag (optional) or a brown crayon or marker, glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers, print out of List of Brown Things.
· Step 1: Explain to your child that you are on a hunt for the colour brown.
· Step 2: walk around the house and/ or outside to look for brown things.
· Step 3: When your child finds something brown you will write the name of the object etc. on a slip of brown paper (or directly on the chart) and your child will glue the brown square on the sheet (or colour the square with a Brown crayon).
· Step 4: At the end of the hunt sit down and count out loud together how many brown things were found. Review what you found by reading the chart out loud.
Search through your child’s toys together to find any that are brown and play with them.
Play with brown clay or play dough.
Play “I Spy With My Little Eye” searching for only brown things.
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find shows with Brown characters like Curious George or any shows with the theme of teaching colours.
Camels are brown.
(Calgary Zoo, Alberta)
Tree trunks are brown.
(Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California)
Photo: C Wright
Photo: C Wright
Painting with brown paint
Make some brown cinnamon toast.