5 DIY projects designed to strengthen children’s color recognition

Most children begin to recognize colors around age two. It’s a developmental milestone that’s foundational to learning and plays a vital role in object recognition as well as language processing, according to experts.

Toys, games, and puzzles that use color are not only a fun and engaging way to help children with color recognition, they’re also incredibly easy to make on your own.

For parents looking for fun and interactive ways to teach the rainbow, here are 5 DIY projects designed to strengthen color recognition. 

1. Popsicle Stick Rainbow Game

In addition to color recognition, this game also helps children with their fine motor skills. First, draw a big rainbow on a cardboard box, then decorate a bunch of popsicle sticks in the same color scheme. Next, use a box cutter to make incisions big enough to fit the popsicle sticks. Have your child poke the rainbow by matching each popsicle stick to its corresponding color.

2. Fizzy Rainbow Science Experiment

Teach kids about chemical reactions and color mixing with this easy at-home science experiment. First, fill a container with baking soda, which will function as the chemical base in the experiment. Next, fill several smaller containers with vinegar, then mix with food coloring. Have your kids use small eye droppers or pipettes to transfer the vinegar into the baking soda, then observe the colorful, bubbly reaction!

3. Pom-Pom Turtle-Feeding Game

Justify your Starbucks habit in the interest of your child’s education, thanks to this homemade board game. First, use a plastic dome lid from a coffee cup to trace circles on a piece of cardboard. Next, draw a turtle around each outline, using the circle as a shell. Give each turtle’s shell a different color, then glue down a plastic dome lid over each circle. Label each turtle with its color, then give your child a bunch of colorful pom-poms for them to match with the corresponding turtle

4. Nature Color Hunt Collage

For this activity, kids can create a colorful collage with their foraging finds from outdoor adventures. First, trace rows of popsicle sticks on a piece of paper, cardboard, or, in this case, the back of a pizza box. Next, fill in each tracing with a seasonally appropriate color, then cover them with a strip of double-sided tape. Little ones will have a blast scavenging for matching items to stick on each color stripe.

5. Paper Clip Color Sorting Game

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This clever game works for children at different stages of development. A toddler can work on fine motor skills by picking off and placing on a colorful assortment of paper clips from a sheet of sticky paper pasted on a wall. And a 3-year-old can practice their color recognition by sorting the paper clips into a repurposed egg carton with compartments that match the colors.

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