Do you have an egg carton and some popsicle sticks laying around your house? If so, grab them both, a few markers and a pair of scissors and you are all set for the easiest color matching DIY yet!
- An empty egg carton
- A pair of scissors
- Popsicle sticks (or tongue depressors)
- Flip your egg carton upside down. Outline the diamond of the individual sections in a variety of colors using markers. If just introducing colors for the first time, stick to the 3 primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. If your child already has exposure to color matching, include a variety of colors.
- Color popsicle sticks or tongue depressors in corresponding colors, making sure there is an exact count match to provide control of error as your child is sorting. Meaning, if you colored 3 blue diamonds, you will need 3 blue sticks.
- Using scissors, cut a small slit just big enough for your colored stick in the center of the diamonds on the bottom of your egg carton.
- Place the egg carton in front of your child with colored sticks to the left. Placing the sticks to the left will require your child to move them from left to right, laying a foundation for early literacy skills such as writing and reading which are done in a left to right motion.
- Model how to select one stick, pick it up, and look at the stick closely. Modeling slow, deliberate movements will provide your child with the opportunity to take in your movements without needing to ‘hear’ directions.
- Next, model how to match the stick to its corresponding color on the egg carton, slowly sliding the stick into the cut slit. Tip: show your child how to steady the egg carton with their non working hand while they place the stick in the carton.
- Now, invite your child to take a turn matching a stick. Observe their movements and model again after their turn if needed.
Skill areas addressed:
- Color matching
- Visual discrimination
- Sensorial attributes
- Fine motor skills
Extensions & Adjustments:
- For a younger child, begin with only 2-3 color options, preferably the primary colors, red, blue, and yellow.
- If making one for an older child, include secondary colors such as green, orange, and purple.
- If 12 is overwhelming, cut your egg carton in half!
Author: Mikaela Martinez