Sunday, May 29, 2011

Great "free" color matching game!

Okay, we spend a lot on curriculum and supplies. So much so that I hate to even consider posting the amount. However, there are times when I salivate over the word "free". So, while walking through a big name home improvement store getting supplies for a DIY project with my husband I walked past the paint isle. As I walked past the cardstock paint samples I thought, "Eureka"!
Color matching is something I really wanted to do with the kids. Of course, since they are a big old for matching simply primary colors, I thought this was an excellent opportunity. While color matching is often done with younger children, it really is important to do this with older children as well. I will get to that later, first to back to the "free" part!
Here we had all these wonderful card stocks in almost every shade available using the colors of the rainbow. And they were FREE! Okay, they didn't have a sign saying "take one for a homeschool project", but I really was thinking about painting a room and needed some samples. So, I thought - what a perfect opportunity! I got two of each for several different color shades. For extra challenge, I got two each of textured paint samples in slightly different shades. The wonderful thing is that the names of the colors are on the back of the paint samples. It is really as if they were screaming - "use me as an educational tool".
Now, if you do utilize this idea - please be reasonable. Don't grab more than two cards for any one color, don't take the last card in the slot, and please don't load up on every single sample there! At my store there was literally more than 100 different color samples to choose from and I took about 15 colors, 2 cards per color.
The reason why I think this is excellent for 3 - 6 year old set is that it goes beyond the normal primary color matching. It allows children to see the result of color blending. It can also alert you as the parent to vision issues with color processing. It is easy to distinguish red from yellow - it is a bit harder to see the subtle differences between off white and ivory. Adding in textured samples with slight shading differences can even up the challenge and allow for a 7 or 8 year old child to join into the fun.
An expansion activity can be to use crayons, paint, or colored pencils to try to color blend to match the shades on some of the cards. If you do a color science activity with water and color bath tablets - matching the shades can become a pretty good scientific study.
So, if you are ever in a large home improvement store and happen upon a wall of card stock paint color samples - consider grabbing a few for a great game of color matching. This could easily morph into an arts and crafts by cutting the cards into shapes and making a neat mosaic. There are really scores of things you can do with these neat little kid sized blocks of unique, funky, and new colors.

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