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I remember art class in elementary school, one of my favorites, and learning about the color wheel was something I loved. While there are only two colors that mix in this book, don't limit yourself when planning an activity! You can explore just the two colors, or you can prepare something to explore the whole wheel. You know your child - their interests and attention span - best, so go with what works for you.
Don't feel like you need to do all the activities in one sitting or at all. (In fact, I strongly discourage that approach!) Choose those that would be appreciated by your child. I encourage reading the book several times throughout the month and choosing a different activity each time. Ask a discussion question (or two) after each time reading it while your child engages in an art activity to help strengthen the connection between the story and real life. By the end of the month, your child might be able to tell YOU the story.
The suggested activities for this book are:
1. Color exploration with paint:
Grab your colors - you can choose to do blue/yellow only, or you can try others - and a piece of paper of your choice. I like to use thick legal-sized paper. Lay down some newspaper or a plastic cover on the floor, put out some paint brushes or encourage finger painting, and let your children explore. Here are a few recipes for different types of paint.
2. Color exploration with playdough:
This one is really fun because, if you make your own playdough, this craft turns into a science experiment that helps math skills too! (Even young children, like three year olds, can help measure ingredients.) Here's a fun recipe I like to use. (It's not edible, though, so be mindful of younger children.)
3. Color exploration with wax paper:
If you're a parent of a young child, you probably have more crayon stubs lying around than you know what to do with. (My oldest likes to nibble on them!) Here is a fun craft you can easily do.
4. Color exploration with tissue paper:
I love tissue paper, so it's good that I can find it at the Dollar Store! Though I hardly use it for its intended purpose, I stash it for art projects like collages. Here is a website that walks you how to create a tissue paper collage. Scissors provide great fine-motor skills practice. Just make sure to give kid-friendly scissors!
5. Create a map:
Grab a large piece of paper or poster, crayons or markers, and a ruler. (Ruler optional.) Little blue and little yellow play hide and seek in their neighborhood. Draw a map of their neighborhood and include places mentioned in the story, such as: houses, school, mountain, store, park, etc. If you choose, include places not specifically mentioned in the story but would make sense on the map, such as: sandbox and swings at the park, school buses at school, trees in the backyard, etc. Be creative! For younger children, you could use words like: up, over, down, on, across, and beyond to help increase vocabulary. Ask what other games little blue and little yellow could play.
6. Kid-friendly philosophy:
I like to include a discussion to have while children are engaged in their art activity. By working on their art, it allows children to open up and express themselves during the discussion and say things they may usually keep to themselves. Topics to explore are friendship, material constitution, and identity. Gauge your child's abilities to think and reason. Challenge your child, but make sure questions are age-appropriate.
For example: I wouldn't ask my three year old "Do you think people change as they get older?", but I would ask "What is the color green?" to hear his response.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- Do you think you have to become exactly like your best friend?
- What kind of things do best friends have in common?
- Can you be friends with someone who shares nothing in common with you?
- What happened when little blue hugged little yellow?
- How did the parents realize what happened to little blue and little yellow?
- Can you think of something made of more than one thing?
- In vegetable soup, can you separate vegetables from broth? (Yes.) In paint, can you separate blue from yellow when you make green? (No.) Why?
- What makes green what it is?
- Do you think people change as they get older?
Did you do any of the activities? Did you make up your own? Do you participate in any of the art projects? Post your pictures and adventures in the comments below or on the Facebook page!