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At the moment, one of our goals at home is for T to learn her colours. She knows the names of the colours but she match those names to the actual colours. Playing games that revolve around topics she’s interested in is helping.
Last weeks Polar Theme for the #playfulpreschool really intrigued her, so we’ve made a “Feed the Penguin” colour game to help her with colour recognition. This game can also be used for other activities. At the end of this post, you’ll find some other ideas that I had.
You will need – to make the feed the Penguin colour game:
Glue or Sticky Tape
Various coloured papers (to make coloured fish)
Preparation – Making the Penguin
Start off by finding a box that is smaller than the height of your black card. This will hold the penguin up. If you don’t have a box, you can make a stand out of some strong card or even rest your penguin against a plastic box to hold it up.
On a piece of black card, cut out a large oval to form the body. Stick this to the box. I used sticky tape as I needed to do it quickly and easily whilst my preschooler ate her snack. On another piece of black card, cut out a small oval to form the head. Then roughly draw and cut out some arm shapes.
With a white piece of paper, cut out an oval to cover the body, and a smaller oval to go on the face.
On orange card, cut out two feet shapes. Don’t worry about cutting out a beak yet.
Assemble the arms to the back of the body. Then put the white oval on top of the body, and then the feet on top of that. Add the white oval to the head shape, and now lay the head in position (but don’t glue it yet).
Draw an open mouth on the body and head so it crosses both parts. Then cut out the body area of the mouth. Lay the head back in place and draw this shape to join up with the top part, and then cut out the whole area.
Stick the head to the back of the penguin body – you should now have a penguin (minus an orange beak) with a big open mouth. Lay the penguin onto some orange card, and trace inside the open beak. Lay your penguin aside, and draw an open beak around the shape you’ve already have drawn and cut out. Glue this shape in place. You now have a finished penguin.
Draw a quick fish – I drew a really basic one with a triangle for a tail and then fleshed it out a little to make it easier for my preschooler to hold. Use this as a template to cut a collection of fish out of different colours of paper.
Playing the Feed the Penguin Colour and Count Game:
Feed the Penguin Colours Game
With a variety of coloured fish, we started our game by feeding the penguin and reviewing the different colours. As I mentioned earlier, T knows the names of the colours, but she doesn’t match those names to the colours at all, even when saying things like “yellow like the sun”. So as she fed the fish, I would say the colour and she would have to find the matching colour.
Once all the fish had been found she decided to sort them into piles of the same colour. Sorting and organizing are essential math skills, and whenever they can be practiced they should be.
With the fish sorted, we reviewed the colour names again, and then I called out a colour she had to find the fish of that colour and feed it to the penguin before moving with the game.
Adapting the Feed the Penguin Colour Game for other areas of learning
There are lots of adaptations to this colour game that so you can play it with your preschoolers and slightly older children. Here are some suggestions:
- Involve a dice and count the fish you’re feeding the penguin, either through 1 to 1 correspondence, or addition and subtraction
- Using pencil, write numbers on the fish, ask your child to find a that number to feed to the penguin
- Create a set of cards which could represent numbers, colours, letters or words, and use these with the fish. If you laminate the fish or use pencil they become reusable and could be used with any of the cards suggested.
- Write letters of the alphabet on the fish, and have your child to pick out their name to feed the penguin
- Write sight words to feed the penguin