My 3 year-old son is busy as can be and usually getting into some sort of trouble while the rest of us are doing school. He’s pretty good at joining in with us while we do our Layers of Learning unit projects, but while the kids are doing their math, reading, and writing in the morning he needs something to keep him busy. The truth is, he’s not trying to be a menace; he just wants to be involved like the big kids.
I’ve started making him little learning kits to keep his mind active and engaged while the rest of us are doing our studies. This pom pom color sort has quickly become one of his favorites.
It’s made from an empty egg carton. I free-hand cut out twelve colorful circles of vinyl to place in the bottom of the egg carton. You could use paper circles too – paint chips work well. I have a ton of vinyl scraps from leftover craft projects, so that’s what I went with. I grabbed out the pom-poms out of our craft supply box and matched up the vinyl colors I had with the pom-pom colors. I ended up with red, orange, yellow, light green, dark green, blue, hot pink, purple, white, black, gold, and silver.
We start with the colored circles in the egg carton, one in each cup, and all the pom-poms in a little bowl off to the side. I gave my son, Jason, some salad tongs from the kitchen and let him grab out the pom-poms and put them in the cup with the matching color. He had a ball.
The extra challenge of the salad tongs made it stay challenging for him, and as soon as he got good at matching the colors, I added on the extra challenge of him calling out the color name as he dropped it into the cup. I also switched the vinyl circles around from time to time so he doesn’t start to memorize where they are.
The best thing I did was put it away before he really wanted to be done with it. It kept him entertained for about 45 minutes, then I put away in our school cupboard. He wanted it still, but I gave him a new kit instead. I’ve found that if I take things away when he’s still wishing for more of it, then he’s double excited when I pull it out again. He’ll play with it over and over again now, always feeling like it’s a special game. He loves the challenge of it, and I love that he’s working on his motor control and learning his colors. This one’s a keeper for sure.
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