Toddler and Pre-School Theme Days

Red Day

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 coloursWe 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 red ones to use for this theme.

Set aside any red dishes (cups, plates, bowls, plastic spoons etc.) you may have that are red and use these for snacks, lunch, dinner etc..

Set aside red clothes for your child to wear that day (and yourself, too, if you’d like).



Even if it isn’t Christmas you can always dig out your Christmas CD’s and use the classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” – print out the lyrics from to sing along.

I couldn’t think of any appropriate children’s songs but for fun you could download from your favourite music provider  the 80’s hit  “Red Red Wine” by UB 40 to dance around the living room.




Go online to your favourite search engine to find colouring pages of red things or favourite red characters or print out my Red Things Colouring Page.  Use red crayons and red markers to colour. 




Materials: Red 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 red he/she sees.

· Step 2: Help your child cut out the red pictures from the magazine to make a pile of red pictures.

· Step 3: Show your child how to glue the pictures onto the red piece 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: Red crayons and markers, sheet of red paper, child-safe scissors, glue stick, stapler, magazine pictures of red things or my Red Things Colouring Page, a facecloth for sticky fingers.


· Step 1: Sit with your child as you sort through magazine for red things, or as  your child colours each object on the colouring page red, or as your child draws his/her own red things for the booklet (six in total).

· Step 2: Help your child cut out the individual pictures.

· Step 3: Fold the sheet of red paper into three parts (as if you were going to put it in an envelope) and cut along the folds to make three red rectangles

· Step 4: Fold each of these three red 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 red picture and glue each one to a small sheet of red 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 red.



Paint with red 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 red pages.


Go to the library before hand to find some colour books or find a fairy tale book and read “Little Red Riding Hood.” Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (type in “Red” or “Colors” and Children’s Books). Reserve them if you can to save time.


Try some of these titles if you can find them:

· Red Red Red, by Valeri Gorbachev,  Philomel Books, 2007 – A cute book about animals who follow a turtle to find out what he is going to see that is “red, red, red.”

· Red is a Dragon: A Book of Colours, written by Roseanne thong and illustrated by Grace Lin, Chronicle Books, 2001 – A brightly coloured book in rhyme about a Chinese girl who sees all the different colours in everything around her.

· Red is Best, story by Kathy Stinson and art by Robin Baird Lewis, Annick Pres Ltd., 1982 – An endearing book about a stubborn toddler who is partial to only red clothing.




Red Jam Swirl Yogurt:


Ingredients: vanilla yogurt and Strawberry Jam


Step 1: Help your child scoop white yogurt into a bowl (a red bowl if you have one).

Step 2: Put 1 or 2 scoops of strawberry jam into the yogurt.

Step 3: Have your child stir the jam into the yogurt with a spoon.


Fresh strawberries, raspberries or cherries together make a great red fruit salad or separate make nice red snacks.

Cherry or grape tomatoes are perfect for snacking.

Drink some Red Juice like pomegranate, cranberry or raspberry etc..



Tomato soup makes a great red lunch (or try a blended red vegetable soup like the boxed ones from Knorr or V8 for different flavours)



Spaghetti and tomato sauce is perfect for a red meal.



Strawberry/Cherry/Raspberry Jello  - Make this in the morning or early afternoon so it will be ready for dessert at dinnertime.




Materials: red squares of paper in a sandwich bag (optional) or a red crayon or marker, glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers, print out the List of Red Things worksheet


· Step 1: Explain to your child that you are on a hunt for the colour red.

· Step 2: walk around the house and/ or outside to look for red things.

· Step 3: When your child finds something red you will write the name of the object etc. on a slip of red paper (or directly on the chart) and your child will glue the red square on the sheet (or colour the square with a red crayon).

· Step 4: at the end of the hunt sit down and count out loud together how many red 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 red ones. Together, make towers with the red blocks.


Search through your child’s toys to find any that are red to play with.

Play with red play dough or modelling clay.



Play “I Spy With My Little Eye” looking for only red things.



Food Colouring:

Put a few drops of red food coloring (liquid) in jar of water – let your child stir and watch as the water turns red. If you have a white carnation put it in the red water and leave if for a few days the red will seep into the flower and make the edges red.





Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find shows with red characters like Elmo or the Wiggles 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



Wild raspberries are red.

Red Collage

Red Paint

Go on a red hunt!

Photo: C Wright

A Booklet of Red Things

Serve some red food!