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 ˝ 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 green ones to use for this theme.
Set aside any dishes (cups, plates, bowls, plastic spoons etc.) you may have that are green and use these for snacks, lunch, dinner etc..
Set aside green clothes for your child to wear that day (and yourself, too, if you’d like).
On your favourite music provider see if you can find a version of the Kermit the Frog song “It’s Not Easy Being Green” and slow dance around the room.
Go online to your favourite search engine to find “green coloring pages” or favourite green characters like Oscar the Grouch, Dorothy the Dinosaur from the Wiggles, or Baby Bop from Barney. Use green crayons and green markers to colour. Help your child cut the pictures out to glue in your Family Theme Day scrapbook.
Materials: Green 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 green he/she sees.
· Step 2: Help your child cut out the green pictures from the magazine to make a pile of green pictures.
· Step 3: Show your child how to glue the pictures onto the green 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: Green crayons and markers, sheet of green paper, child-safe scissors, glue stick, stapler, my Green Things Colouring Page, a facecloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Sit with your child as he/she colours each object on the colouring page green.
· Step 2: Help your child cut out the individual pictures.
· Step 3: Fold the sheet of green paper into three parts (as if you were going to put it in an envelope) and cut along the folds to make three green rectangles.
· Step 4: Fold each of these three green 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 coloured picture and glue each one to a small sheet of green paper.
· Step 6: Help your child staple the sheets together to make a little book.
· Step 7: Read the book together to review the colour green.
Search through your child’s books to find any that teach the colours and flip to the green pages.
Go to the library before hand to find some colour books. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (type in “Green” or “Colors” and Children’s Books). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Try some of these titles if you can find them:
· Go Away, Big Green Monster!, by Ed Emberley, Little, Brown and Company, 1992 – A cute book that highlights colours by using cut out shapes on the pages for the different body parts of the monster that magically disappear when your child turns the page making the monster disappear as well.
· Small Green Snake, by Libba Moore Gray and pictures by Holly Meade, Orchard Books, 1994 – Great torn paper collage illustrations in this story of a small green snake who doesn’t heed his mother’s warnings and wanders through the garden wall to have an adventure.
· Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, 1947 - This sweet and classic bedtime tale takes place in a green room.
· Carlo Likes Colors, by Jessica Spanyol, Candlewick Press, 2003 – Carlo the giraffe labels the different colours all around.
· Little Blue and Little Yellow, by Leo Lionni, An Astor Book, 1959 – Little blue is best friends with little yellow and when they hug they make green.
· Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Suess, Random House Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (August 12, 1960) - This classic Dr. Suess isn’t really about colours but the idea of green eggs fits with the theme.
Green veggies and dip (ranch dressing is easy to use): try slices of green pepper, sliced cucumber, celery sticks, broccoli florets.
Green grapes, slices of green apple or pear, and sliced kiwi fruit make a great green fruit salad.
Sliced avocado on crackers.
Guacamole and crackers or corn chips – store bought or make your own child-friendly version by mashing an avocado with a little sour cream, one diced plum tomato, a little salt and a little cumin, and a splash of lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
Have some pickles for a crunchy tangy snack.
· Ingredients: vanilla yogurt and green food colouring
· Step 1: Help your child scoop white yogurt into a bowl (a green bowl if you have one).
· Step 2: Put 1 or 2 drops of green food colouring in the yogurt for your child.
· Step 3: Have your child stir the food colouring into the yogurt with a spoon.
Some canned split pea soup or Knorr’s Green soup make a green lunch.
Pesto and pasta makes green spaghetti.
Serve broccoli, peas, asparagus, green beans, kale or any other green veggie at supper time (Green Theme Day is a great excuse to put green vegetables on your little one’s plate).
Green (Lime or Mixed Fruit ) Jello—Make this in the morning or early afternoon so it will be ready for dessert at dinnertime. Follow package instructions. If the flavours are too strong mix the finished product with vanilla ice cream.
Mint green ice cream is an easy no-prep green dessert.
Materials: Green squares of paper in a sandwich bag (optional) or a green crayon or marker, glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers, print out the List of Green Things worksheet.
· Step 1: Explain to your child that you are on a hunt for the colour green.
· Step 2: Walk around the house and/ or outside to look for green things.
· Step 3: When your child finds something green you will write the name of the object etc. on a slip of green paper (or directly on the chart) and your child will glue the green square on the sheet (or colour the square with a green crayon).
· Step 4: At the end of the hunt sit down and count out loud together how many green things were found. Review what you found by reading the chart out loud.
· Coloured blocks: with your child sort through toy blocks to find only the green ones. Together make towers with the green blocks.
· Search through your child’s toys to find any that are green to play with.
· Play with green play dough or modelling clay.
Play “I Spy With My Little Eye” looking only for green things.
Show your child how green can be magically made by mixing yellow paint with blue paint and then have fun painting together (don’t forget to set out newspaper or a plastic sheet before hand and to wear old clothes and smocks).
Put a few drops of green food coloring (liquid) in jar of water – let your child stir and watch as the water turns green. If you have a white carnation put it in the green water and leave if for a few days the green will seep into the flower and make the edges green.
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find shows with green characters like Oscar the Grouch, Kermit the Frog, Baby Bop or with the theme of teaching colours.
Try this title for a perfect toddler show that highlights many colours:
· Baby Einstein: Baby Van Gogh – World of Colour
END OF THE DAY:
Don’t forget to eat your green Jello or ice cream for dessert.
Give your child an green bath with bath tablets like those from Upper Canada Soap and Candle Makers.
Photo: Larry K
Limes are green.