Teaching Colors - Clothespin Color Relay

I love clothespin activities!!!!  There's just something about all that wood and color and the satisfaction of opening and closing a clothespin and sticking it on something.  One activity Noah loves to engage in is Clothespin Color Relay.  This little beauty works on fine motor skills (clothespin grasp, gross motor (walking/running), following directions, picture card usage, color identification and matching.   It's easy to get the other little ones (and big ones) involved once they see what we're up to.  We thought we'd let you in on our little game.

One thing I've found to be very important is remembering that the goal we are reaching for while attempting these tasks is progress and for the child to feel successful.  More important than training our children to know their  colors, we are training them to be confident and enthusiastic learners.  So, no matter how much assistance you have to give, make sure to give your child all the credit for a job well done.  "Yes, you got it, you made a match, super,  yay!!!!!"

Materials needed:

  • 22 clothespins
  • permament markers
  • scissors
  • printout of mrsriley.com color circles here: http://mrsriley.com/app/#fileID=45741
  • a piece of string or yarn, at least 12-inches long, depending on how many cards you'll be using
  • bell and chair - (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Mount picture boards on cardstock or laminate.
  2. Cut out cards.
  3. Color a set of 2 clothespins for each color card you will be using.    (If you are having multiple children playing, you may want to have an extra clothespin or 2 per color.)
  4. Attach your string horizontally either from two pieces of furniture (in which case you will need a longer piece of string, or tacked to the wall.
  5. Sit with your child and talk about the cards and the clothespins. Use this as an opportunity to introduce and review vocabulary and talk about concepts like "open and closed," "colors," "matching," "same and different." Next, using very simple speech, "Put red on red," give him practice opening and closing the clothespins and attaching a color-coordinated clothespin to a card.

How to Play:  (Start off with just 2 or 3 colors and build up gradually.)

  1. Hang each color card with a coordinated clothespin from the string that you hung.
  2. Hold the remaining coordinating clothespins in your hand and place yourself about 2 yards from the hanging cards.
  3. Give your child one clothespin, tell him the color of the clothes pin, and tell him to clip it on the coordinating card.  ("Here's red.  Put red on red.)  Assist as needed. 
  4. Repeat with remaining clothespins.

 

A step up (Pick and Choose):

1.  Play the game as described, but using a timer, encourage your child to see how fast he can attach all the clothespins to the cards.

2.  Encourage your child to ask you for the color he wants using either sign language, picture cards or speech.

3.  Set a bell on a chair near the hanging cards.  Instruct your child to ring the bell every time he makes a match.  This is an exercise in following directions with an extra step.

4.  If you have more than one child playing, use small boxes or baskets to hold the clothespins and make it into a race.  If one child finishes first, you may choose to have him help the other child to win too by helping him attach the remaining clothespins.

How do you use this game for your child or clients?  What modifications helped it be a success for you?   Can't wait to hear.

Blessings,

Alyson

 

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