Rainbow Rice

I can’t take credit for this…..but, I loved the idea so much I wanted to share…..

This link was sent to me by a friend…………..


To dye your rice, pour about two cups of rice into a bowl; add about 20-25 drops of food coloring and stir it until it is coated. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and stir again. Repeat, with various colors; pour onto newspaper until it dries and then dump all of it into a container to create a rainbow rice bin. You can use this bin for games or simply for fun play using funnels, cars, cups, large spoons, etc.

Get Creative…

  • Magnetic alphabet letters can be hidden in the rice and can be matched to corresponding letters on a cookie sheet.

  • Paint rocks or shells that can be matched to corresponding colors painted in the bottom of an egg shell carton.

  • Hide coins and sort into matching piles, talk about values.


Color Matching Game

Understanding color and shape is a tool for learning many skills in all curriculum areas, from math and science to language and reading. For example, when your child learns to discern the similarities and differences between colors and shapes, she is using the same skills she needs to recognize the differences between letters and numerals.

I have put together a “simple” game to play with your child that will help them strengthen their visual discrimination skills.

Visit your local hardware store or any department store that sells paint and simply pick out the basic color cards.

Provide your child with a bowl of assorted pom-poms that match the color cards and allow them to sort them onto the cards.  In addition to the pom-poms, wooden clothes pins or plastic tweezers may be used to move the pom-poms to the cards. By using clothes pins or tweezers, your child is strengthening the hand muscles used for cutting and also fine-tuning their hand-eye coordination skills.

Helpful Tips:


It may be helpful to start with just a few cards and add more as your child masters the game. After he/she is able to sort all pom-poms by themselves, you can start asking them to place each individual color. As an example, when all the cards are placed on floor/table and the bowl of pom poms is available, simply ask your child to start with red to see if he/she can distinguish the color.


To reinforce color recognition, make your trip to the grocery store a learning experience…..

Simply have your child point out anything in the store that is red, i.e. apples, soup cans, tomatoes, various packages, clothing, etc.

Each time you visit your local store, choose a new color!

Teaching Colors to Your Preschooler

The Importance of Color

Color is one of the first ways your preschooler makes distinctions among things she sees; color words are some of the first words she uses to describe these things. You have probably heard the pride in your child’s voice as she names the colors of the balloons at the store checkout, or her delight when she realizes that a banana and pear are different shades of yellow. Helping you fold the laundry, she may naturally start sorting the socks into piles of different colors while exclaiming, “Look what I did!” These are all perfect examples of how children (and adults!) use color as a means for defining and organizing the world.

But there is much more to your child’s understanding of color than “knowing his colors.” While it is important for him to know the names of the colors, it is just as important for him to know what to do with them. You can help by inviting him to notice many shades, hues, and tints. Make up names for these colors together, such as lemon yellow or apple red. You will be helping him use color as a means for creative thinking and language. Invite him to use descriptive language as he tells you how one green is different from another. A 4 Year Old might proudly say, “That green is dark like a Christmas tree and this one is light like celery!”

Books About Colors

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Eric Carle (JMAR) Available at both Thomas and Hageman Libraries

  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert (JEHL) Available at both Thomas and Hageman Libraries

  • A  Color of His Own Leo Lionni (JLIO) Available at Thomas

  • My Crayons Talk by Patricia Hubbard (JHUB) Available at both Thomas and Hageman Libraries

  • Color Dance by Ann Jonas (JJON) Available at both Thomas and Hageman Libraries

  • Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd (JDOD) Available at both Thomas and Hageman Libraries

  • Is it Red? Is it Yellow? Is it Blue? An Adventure in Color by Tana Hoban (J 153.75 HOB)  Available at Hageman

DVD’s or Toys

  • Meet the Colors DVD (JDVD535.6MEE) Available at Thomas

  • Color Discovery Boxes (TOY329) Available at Thomas

  • My World, Learning Colors DVD (J DVD 371.91 MY) Available at Thomas

  • Sesame Street: Guess that Shape and Color DVD (J DVD 372.21 SES) Available at Hageman

  • The Wiggles: Racing to the Rainbow DVD (J DVD WIG) Available at Hageman


  • Color Search: Go on a color “HUNT” by looking for a certain color of objects in a room.

  • Fishing: Have your child fish for a certain color of paper fish, using paper clips on the fish and a pole with a magnet on the end.

  • Color Toss: Have your child toss a bean bag at color squares and try to land on a color that you call out to them.

  • Get a small bag of colored pom poms and have your child sort them into different containers by color.

  • Wear some article of clothing in the color you are learning.Point out the color in everyday objects. (The grocery store is a great place to point out colors)Add the color to your meals by eating a food that color, eating off a plate of the week’s color, etc.

  • Make color flash cards by cutting 2 index card size rectangles out of construction paper and laminating them.

There are several games you can play with these cards:

  • Have child find the matching colors.

  • Pick one color card out and have the child go and find things that are that color and come back and tell you what they found, or bring the object back to you.

  • Gather several objects of different colors and have the child place each object on the corresponding colored card.

  • Hide one set of cards around the room. Give the child one of the second set of cards and tell them to go find that colored card.

  • In the pom pom activity (#1) you could have child place the colored pom pom on the matching card.

  • Have child match crayons to the cards.

  • Hold up each card and ask child what color it is.

  • Go outside and find things in nature that are the different colors.

Make “File Folder” games,

here are links to some free printables:

  1. http://www.preschoolprintables.com/filefolder/firesafety/filefolderfire.shtml
  2. http://www.earlylearningactivities.com/PDF/shamrockcolorffgamec.pdf
  3. http://www.earlylearningactivities.com/PDF/pbcolorffgamec.pdf
  4. http://www.preschoolprintables.com/filefolder/pie/filefolderpie.shtml
  5. http://www.preschoolprintables.com/filefolder/pie/filefolderpie.shtml

Shape Boxes

I found this on someone’s blog and I love it….


Shape Boxes

(Boxes Can Be Modified for Colors)

I made these boxes after trying to think of a way to introduce my baby to shapes. Lakeshore has a product similar to this for $5o

but I just made mine with stuff I had laying around the house. I like this idea because she can put her hands on it and also it relates shapes to the real world. Outside of school, there are not many times when she is going to have to point out a 2 dimensional shape on a piece of paper. I hope it will show her that shapes are a part of everyday life. Since she is only 12 months old, I am not trying to drill anything into her. I just let her open the boxes and play with the contents as she pleases. Like in this picture, she took the sponge and pretended she was scrubbing the box :). While she plays I talk to her about the shape. For example, I will say, “that yellow sponge is a rectangle, you can tell because it has four sides. Two sides are long, two sides are short”. In the rectangle box I put a stamp, a sponge, an old id card (which she loves because it has a picture of Daddy on it), a plastic brownie, and two cardboard boxes that came in a play food set she got for her birthday.

In the circle box I put a plastic plate, a small compact mirror, a cd, a butter tub lid, a plastic quarter, and a few plastic food items: an orange, a pie, a pancake and two doughnuts. In the square box I put a washcloth, a plastic building block, a plastic waffle, a small board book and a square pot holder. In the triangle box (the most pathetic box) I put two slices of plastic pizza. I really can’t think of much more to put in there for a triangle. I was thinking a hanger maybe, but it won’t fit in there. I plan to add more items in the future, as I come across them.

You could use this same concept for colors.