Is your preschooler fascinated by the paint chips found at many hardware stores? This activity uses those paint chips to help your child learn about different shades of colors and how to find different colors in nature. When you are done with this activity, you will have a pretty collage to hang on your refrigerator, as well as a preschooler with a bit more knowledge about different shades of colors.
What You Do:
- Take your child on a field trip to the hardware store. Help him pick out different colors of paint chips. Steer him towards the chips that have several different shades of the same color on the same paint chip.
- When you are home from the store, take a nature walk outside and bring the paint chips. If you've got them, bring along a magnifying glass or a pair of binoculars. Talk about the seasons and what colors you are going to see in nature right now.
- Give your child one of the paint chips and have him search for nature items that match the color. Talk about the different shades of green found in leaves from different trees or the different shades of brown found in different bark. If it is autumn, talk about how leaves in different stages of turning colors will have a different shade of the same color and how the leaves of different trees turn different colors. If you have any colors that you cannot find in nature, ask your child why she thinks those colors are not as common in nature.
- On your nature hunt, collect small items, such as leaves, sticks, flowers and acorns that match the paint chips.
- When you are inside, spread the collection out on the table and examine them with the magnifying glass. Talk about different characteristics of the treasures such as texture and size.
- Have your child use the paint chips and the collected items to make a nature collage for the season. Show him how to glue the paint chips and nature items onto the paper. If you have heavier treasures, you may need to use tacky glue. If you have lots of treasures, you can make a collage to go with each paint chip.
After your child has finished his masterpiece, let it dry and proudly display on a wall or refrigerator. As the seasons change, you can repeat the activity with your child, or just use the original collage as a jumping off point to talk about how the colors of the season are changing.