Crayon Color Sorting

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Veronika is obsessed with colors right now, not just in English but Spanish, too (thanks to big brother’s Zoom class!). So when I came home with a big new box of Crayola crayons, she immediately wanted all los colores. I seized the perfect opportunity for a color-sorting game.

To set up, simply tape paint chips (available for free at hardware stores) to the individual cups of a muffin tin, and then encourage your toddler to add each crayon to the correct cup.

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I pointed out the first few, using both English and Spanish words. “Where should you put verde green?” I asked her. “What about blue azul?”

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She was great about sorting at first…

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…though of course she soon also wanted to mix and match, or transfer the crayons back into and out of the box.

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In sum, an easy and fun color game for toddlers.

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Memory (6)

Homemade cards in a variety of prints are a fun riff on the classic children’s game of Memory, and a nice way to introduce even a toddler to the game. My original plan had been to use leftover gift wrap from the holidays for the game but… we used it all up! In a pinch, I had sheets of patterned paper that worked just as well.

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Whichever material you use, glue an index card onto each pattern for sturdiness, then cut in half so you have two of each print. For extra security, you can also cover them with contact paper.

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At first I simply showed Veronika the cards and she loved all the patterns. Go through them with your toddler and name any familiar objects like clouds or stars.

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Next it was time to teach her how to play Memory! With a toddler, you’ll want to start with only 3 or 4 pairs. Flip them over and then take turns trying to find a match.

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She didn’t always understand the concept of taking turns, but certainly she could identify when she had two of a kind!

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For a seasonal spin, I then cut some of the patterns into mittens and we played Winter Mitten Memory.

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I had so many patterns that I set some aside as hearts (which we can use at Valentine’s Day) and a few as Easter Eggs for the spring.

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Clothespin Puppets

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It’s that time of the month when we’re emptying out the craft bin before stocking up for the month ahead, and I love projects like this that use up all the bits and bobs! Since Travis learned about puppets this month, we made one last simple type: clothespin puppets!

We wanted to decorate the body of the clothespin, but didn’t want to wait for paint to dry. The perfect solution? Strips of decorative washi tape.

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Once the tape was in place, we could decorate them in any way. Most of them received wiggle eyes, and we also glued down feathers, beads, pom poms, and more.

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All the kids had to do was pinch the clothespins to make the “mouth” of each little creature talk.

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These cute puppets are sure to make their way into all sorts of imaginative games.

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Butterfly Hand Puppet

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We’ve been having fun with puppets lately, and here’s a neat one that kids can wear right on their hands!

I had a few fabric swatches in different prints, so cut out circles for a blue butterfly and a rather whimsical pineapple one. Insert this circle of fabric into a clothespin. Ideally I would have used a peg clothespin, but a spring-type clothespin worked in a pinch (with a little hot glue for security).

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I then wrapped a pipe cleaner around the tip of each clothespin as the antennae.

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Now to get it onto the kids’ hands! Using some old exfoliating gloves from the drugstore, I hot glued one “butterfly” onto each glove.

Veronika loved fluttering hers around!

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Travis’s very quickly became a flying dragon involved in make-believe games rather than a butterfly, but that worked just as well! Either way, these puppets were simple but fun to make.

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