A couple months ago I was in the kitchen washing dishes while Silas was quietly playing in the adjoining living room. I popped my head in to check on him and found that he had taken his basket of lacing beads and sorted them by color into neat, discrete piles. Well okay then. Ever since then he has been absolutely obsessed with colors and sorting and grouping. So I've been working on a few activities, good for the almost two set, to encourage and support this new interest of his. I thought I would share them with you.
The first is a pretty popular Waldorf-inspired activity; color sorting bowls with corresponding acorns. I found the unfinished wooden bowls and acorns on Etsy, painted the inside of the bowls and the bottoms of the acorns with acrylic paint and then finished the bare wood with a little bit of walnut oil. I think they turned out beautifully.
Of the little activity sets I made, this was the easiest and the one that he took to most quickly. One day while he was napping, I set the bowls out on his table with the acorns in a basket. He noticed them immediately when he woke up. I didn't say anything, but demonstrated putting the red acorn into the red bowl and he took it from there. He chooses to play with this one at least once a day.
It's so fascinating to watch him think through where each acorn should go. I thought he might have trouble discerning the blue from the purple, but he had no problems at all telling them apart.
Next up is a set of popsicle sticks with matching felt pockets. I gave this to him quite awhile ago, but then put it away because he wasn't quite ready for it. We got it out about a week ago and it's perfect for a 23-month-old. He can just manage fitting the sticks into the pocket. He also likes to put the pockets on his fingers and pretend they're puppets.
Lastly, I made a color wheel (a piece of cardboard, for rigidity, sandwiched between construction paper triangles, laminated with clear contact paper) with matching painted clothes pins. This one is my favorite. Silas likes it too, but he needs a bit of help with it; his hands aren't quite strong enough yet to pinch open the clothes pins. I'll probably reintroduce this one in a couple months and see how he does with it.
This isn't an activity, but it was a fun way to add a little color to our day. I made some colored window shapes (inspired by Kylie at How We Montessori). They were great way to tangibly talk about color. "Let's jump from the red square to the yellow circle!" for example. Plus, they really brightened up our living room.
Now, I'd love to make some window stars. Aren't they beautiful? I also have all the materials to make another little matching activity, like this one, but haven't completed it yet. I'm experimenting with natural wood dyes and haven't settled on a process that I'm happy with quite yet. Any advice? Plus, while he still loves sorting colors, he is showing a new interest in counting "one" and "two" so I'm thinking of moving on to some counting activities. Mama needs to catch up.