Category: Preschool at Home

6 Fun Activities for Teaching Colors to Kids

6 Fun Activities for Teaching Colors to Kids

When you have young children in the house, the three most important concepts to work on are letters, numbers, and teaching colors. When my own girls were preschool-age, we did everything we could to make learning colors easy for them!

If you are teaching colors to your toddler or preschooler this year, check out these fun and simple ideas!

Pictures of toys with text overlay: 6 Simple Ways to Teach Colors to Toddlers and Preschoolers

6 Activities for Teaching Colors:

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  • “Color of the Week” Basket

When our kids were little, toy rotation worked the best for us! Every week, we included a big bowl full of toys from our weekly color: bristle blocks, large magnetic letters, musical instruments, vehicles, plastic cookie cutters, play food, Duplos, etc.

  • Songs & Sign Language

For four years of my girls’ preschool years, I taught “Mommy & Me” sign language classes in our home. We reviewed counting, ABCs, and colors each week using Rachel Coleman’s Colors of the Rainbow song and Laurie Berkner’s Balloons song. Our girls learned the signs for colors before they could say the words.

  • Lots of Props!

Along with singing songs every week, we also used scarves and balloons to practice our color words! Katie especially loved using the scarves while she read (looked at) one of her favorite books, Color Dance.

  • Color Sorting

We sorted toys by color ALL THE TIME. Our favorite tools were a large, green “chip and dip” container from Dollar Tree (with six compartments) and a muffin tin! We sorted magnetic letters, fuzzy pom poms, animal counters, and even cut straw pieces. As you can see in the image, I added labels with the color sight words to each of the compartments for a little extra literacy fun.

  • Rainbow Noodles

Back in March, I dyed a box of rigatoni noodles with food coloring to make “rainbow noodles.” These have been great for stringing, patterning, and stamping in playdough! (See the tutorial here.)

  • Color Mixing

One of the things I recommended to preschool parents all the time is to buy only a few colors of paint (red, blue, yellow, white, and black) and mix up shades every time we did an art project. We have learned how to make secondary colors (green, orange, and purple) and combination colors like brown and teal. The book Mouse Paint is a great one to read with kids if you’re looking to learn more about color mixing!


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Hopefully, these six simple activities, games, and songs make teaching colors FUN! Remember, the goal is to connect with your kids through play, so try to follow their lead and match their interests.

Which of these activities for teaching colors will you try first?

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Picture of color toys with text overlay: "6 Fun Activities for Kids who are Learning Colors"

How to Create a Homeschool Schedule for a New School Year

How to Create a Homeschool Schedule for a New School Year

Are you a new homeschooling mom? Maybe you are considering preschool at home or you have decided to homeschool your Kindergarten or 1st grade student. It can be overwhelming: from curriculum to to socialization, everyone has an opinion.  Creating a flexible, effective homeschool schedule doesn’t have to be hard, though. Read on for a step-by-step plan to create a weekly homeschool schedule, and be sure to scroll down for our free printable template download.

4 Steps to Creating a Homeschool Schedule

Image of a child's hand holding a pencil with a text overlay: How to Create a Flexible Homeschool Schedule for the New School Year

Identify Your Child’s Learning Style

Every one of our children learn differently, and discovering how our children learn best can definitely impact our daily homeschool schedule. My own two daughters are both auditory learners which means we can “double-dip” — listening to memory work in the car or during play time. If you have kinesthetic learners, you can take some of your lessons outside for gym + math facts or spelling practice.

Click here for more about learning styles.

Determine Your Family Culture

Some families love to be on the go! In homeschool learning, that may look like co-ops, park days, sports and music classes, plus additional playdates and extracurriculars. While children can certainly learn outside of their home “school,” be sure to take everyone’s personality styles into consideration when setting up your weekly schedule. Since we have two introverts in the family, we try to alternate between “at-home” days and “activity” days.

Click here to learn more about personality styles. 

Choose Your Subjects

A major benefit of homeschooling is combining multiple skills and subjects into one lesson. If you choose to use unit studies or interest-based learning, you’ll be amazed by how much content you can cover in a shorter period of time.

We also don’t have to teach every subject every day. We do math and spelling five days a week, but many other subjects can be covered with just one lesson a week! Since our girls are major readers, I don’t “teach” reading every day. We cover phonics during spelling and comprehension during read-aloud and history lessons.

Map Out Your Weekly Homeschool Schedule Visually

When we were first getting started with homeschooling (seven years ago!), I struggled with the idea that our schedule varied from week to week. Using a homeschool planner didn’t work for us, so I created a template that I could reuse week after week.

It really simple!

  1. Print off the schedule template.
  2. Fill in all “out of the house” commitments: classes, events, appointments first.
  3. Add in family “cornerstones,” like naps/rest time, meals, read-aloud time, etc.
  4. Look the available pockets of time that are left, and see what lessons you can fit in. Remember that young children learn best through play, and the goal is not to finish every lesson in the book, but to master one new skill at a time.
Image of computer on desk with text: "How to Create a Homeschool Schedule for the New School Year

Download our printable weekly template!


Example Homeschool Schedule

All summer long, we have done read-aloud time first in our day. For our fall semester, we decided to move read-aloud time (and other fun topics!) to after lunch. Since both girls will have a heavier workload this year, we’ve decided to do our core subjects immediately after breakfast, when we’re all feeling our best.

Here’s a peek at our fall homeschooling schedule:

  • Morning chores & breakfast
  • Classes will start at 9:00 a.m. (I’ll start with Katie’s lessons while Addie completes her independent work. Once Katie has finished, Addie and I will do math and grammar together.)
  • The girls will have lunch and outside time from noon until 1:30. I’ll use most of that time for lesson-planning and blog-writing.
  • At 1:30, we’ll come together for read-aloud time, music, art projects, and AWANA memory work.
  • From 2:30-3:30, the girls will have independent reading time, finish up any school work, and play quietly.
  • At 3:30, they’ll be officially “dismissed” until dinner time.

We have gym class on Wednesday mornings, so our schedule will be a little different one day a week.


Colorful pictures of toys with a text overlay: Preschool at Home | FREE Parent Mini-ClassMaking a homeschool schedule for your family may require some trial and error for a few weeks until you find something that feels comfortable for both you and your kids. If you would like some support getting started, click here to join our free parent mini-class.


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Two school-related images (container of markers, child writing) with words: How to Create a Homeschool Schedule for a New School Year

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers

It’s hard to believe I’ve been involved in education for nearly two decades now. I’ve gone from working one-on-one with struggling students to a classroom teacher, from tutoring small groups to teaching “mommy and me” sign language and early literacy classes. Again and again, I come back to working with preschool and primary grade students (and their parents) because it’s a crucial time to instill a love for learning that lasts a lifetime.

In our Facebook group and in my one-on-one chats with parents, I’ve noticed one skill comes up more often than others: learning letter names and letter sounds.

In my mind, the best early literacy activity is simply reading aloud to our kids. There is no program or app that has a better track record than the powerful connection of a caring adult, a good book, and a willing child.


Click here for our favorite read aloud resources.


However, in my experience both as a teacher and a mom, some skills do need a little extra direct instruction. When it comes to teaching letters to toddlers and preschoolers, I will always recommend hands-on, FUN learning activities.

From an early age, our younger daughter showed us that she preferred choosing her own activities. By rotating her toys and setting out invitations to play every afternoon, she has become confident at directing her own learning.

What is a parent’s role in teaching letter names and letter sounds?

It’s simple, really.

Filling your home with books, stocking your toy closet with open-ended toys, and understanding how your child learns best will go a long way toward early literacy success.

So which books and toys are best for letter recognition?

Read on!

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers | ABC games, learning letter names, learning letter sounds, early literacy, tactile activities, learning through play

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

By nature, most young children are hands-on learners. Our favorite TACTILE (touch) letter recognition activities are:

Wooden Letter Puzzle

Magnetic Letters

Foam Letters

Letter Stamps

ABC Cookie Cutters

We also use cut-up pool noodles for a tactile spelling activity. You can start with just single letters for toddlers and preschoolers. As your kids get older, start adding in other spelling rules like double consonants, blends, chunks, etc. (Isn’t it fun when an activity can grow with our kids?)

Picture of cut up pool noodles with text: 12 hands-on ABC learning activities

My older daughter (a visual learner) also loved these two-piece letter puzzles and our ABC books:

My younger daughter (an auditory learner) loved this CD and our sign language DVDs/CDs:

Finally, some of our favorite letter recognition activities come out in our seasonal play. Leftover plastic eggs are great for making homemade ABC games!

 


Download our plastic egg activities here.


It is my sincere hope that this post has sparked some ideas for letter recognition activities that you can do at home! If you need MORE ideas, I would love for you to join our free Facebook group or schedule a one-on-one chat with me.