It’s Autumn here. There are amazing colors around us. Trees and berries turn to red. Orange leaves are everywhere… I thought that was wonderful opportunity to explore colors a bit.
I decided to begin with red. It's my daughter's favorite color and we have many red objects in our home so I just started by bringing a bit more awareness to what surrounds us. I didn't expected a particular outcome nor I wanted to "teach" her something. I just wanted us to play a bit with this color and experience it through our 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.
On Monday morning I prepared for her some red things on a tray: some soft ones (silk), some hard ones (wood), some from the nature (leaves and rose petals), some toys (little red cars)...
She explored it a bit and added some others. They happened to be red too but I'm not sure that she did this on purpose:
To make it more fun, we went "hunting" for the red objects around us. We walked through the house and I asked « what is red here? ».I found some more objects and she helped picking them up. In the end we had a nice collection:
We usually listen to our Music Together CDs in the afternoon and I offered her some red scarfs this time (made of silk and of cotton- for different sensory experiences ). So we had an improvised "red scarfs dance" and then my little miss used them to make a sort of composition with some of the red musical instruments and the red objects we found in the morning:
On Tuesday we went to the flower shop to buy a red flower. She chose a red rose and then we headed to another shop to buy a red balloon. When we buy something in the small shops I prepare the money for her and she gives it to the vendor, then takes the change and put it away in my purse.
On the street we spotted some more red objects:
On Wednesday we sung a song from the Music Together "Flute" collection (you can listen to the music here). The lyrics are:
"Leaves are falling, softly floating, tumbling to the ground.
Orange, red, brown, yellow, orange, tumbling to the ground."
On Thursday I offered her some red play dough:
And different types of red pencils to draw with:
And then I set her favorite puzzle (that contains many red fruits, actually ;) on a red sheepskin:
And then I showed her these Montessori cards, with pictures to be classified by colors. She didn't classify them but enjoyed the pictures very much and named some of the objects she knew. In the end, she did put together some pictures of red objects but she mixed with other colors too (this was not a problem at all, since the only goal was exploring the color and not actively teaching her something)
On Friday we cooked some tomato sauce together:
And during the weekend she had a ride with her red tricycle.
Funny enough, I realized that some of her favorite snacks are red too and when I prepared her dried strawberries, she brought her book and showed me that they were similar to the ones in the book. She also brought her red halon to the table when eating her raspberries
Some ideas of red snacks: strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, Goji berries...
Another on-going activity through the week was reading books about colors. And I've noticed that we had already quite a few:
- "Balthazar et les Couleurs de la vie et les rêves aussi" from the amazing collection of Montessori books with Balthazar, unfortunately available only in French:
- "Mein erstes Buch von den Farben" ("Mon imagier des couleurs" in French):
- The beautiful "My Very First Book of Colors" by Eric Carle, which suggests a playful way to match colors and objects:
- "La couleur du ciel" (another book from the Montessori collection with Balthazar and Pépin)- a poetic way to discover colors:
And to my surprise we even had some books specifically for the red color:
- "La pomme rouge" by Kazuo Iwamura. I think there is no English version of this book. The drawing are beautiful and minimalistic and my daughter already knows the story by heart. Definitely one of her favorite books, so she was extremely happy that we read it every day.
- "Tout est rouge" (Hooray for Fall!") by Kazuo Iwamura. I have already introduced this beautiful book here as a great book about autumn and the changes into the nature as the new season slowly impacts the forest. It is also a great book to bring awareness to the colors
We had a wonderful week full of sensory experiences, flavors, colors and beautiful sounds. I mainly used the materials and ressources we had already. The only things we bought especially for the occasion were the balloon and the rose. My daughter seemed to be much more aware of the colors around us at the end of the week and you know what? So was I. This is one of the reasons I love so much being with a child. It makes me see the world with new eyes.
And at the end of the week, when I entered our library space in the house, I saw my daughter sitting like this:
She was contemplating 6 tourist guides of different colors from the same collection (Cartoville). She had obviously picked them up on different shelves (they are classified by countries not by collections) and displayed them in front of her. I asked her "where is the red one?" and she showed me the red guide (Tokyo). I was fascinated. She had designed her own learning activity based on colors.
Isn't it wonderful how children naturally learn from the environment around them? Aren't they the best teachers and activities designers?
"Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are, not just in special learning places"- John Holt