Happy Montessori Monday everyone. Today I’m going to show you one of my favorite activities that can be made for FREE!
This is a classic Montessori PreK activity that children continue to enjoy and benefit from as they get older. We began this activity with my son at around 18 months and now at 4.5 years old he still loves it.
There are “official” Montessori materials for this if you’d like to purchase something but if you’re looking to make it frugally at home all you need is a trip to your local hardware or paint supply store. I will tell you how we use this work now and how we used it when my son was young.
Age- 18months and up
Time- 5+ minutes
Materials needed- Paint samples of various colors
Montessori Subject- Sensorial
To begin this activity for a younger child start with paint samples in a single color as close to the “standard” rainbow colors as you can. We started with the Mickey Mouse paint samples 🙂
For a child still learning colors use the 3 Part Lesson
1- Hold up the red and say “this is red”, hold up the blue and say “this is blue” (sign the color as well if your child signs)
2- Place both on the mat and ask “Which is the red?” if the child chooses the incorrect color ask again, don’t correct them. Repeat for the blue
3- Point to the blue and ask “Which color is this?”
As your child gains confidence try this with all the colors at the same time.
To advance from this into color gradient matching cut the paint sample apart as shown in the picture above. Most samples are large enough to cut them in half and then separate each color.
Next, place the intact strip on the mat. Using the 3 Part Lesson described above distinguish between “dark” and “light.”
Then give your child the cut apart colors and ask them to match the shades to the strip (note- some choose to cut off all the excess white). Remove any that are incorrectly matched and say “these don’t quite match up, try again”
Once they’re all matched it will look like this:
Our next step is going to be cutting apart the intact strip and playing a memory game with these.
This work is one we really enjoy. I also find that it’s a good one to encourage my son to do if he’s struggling with another work because it’s an instant and easy success for him. Many parents put a work away because it’s too “easy.” If you find there is an easy work your child loves consider keeping it out. It will really boost their confidence and comfort level when trying out something new and tricky.