Sunday, February 1, 2009

Color Boxes

About a month ago, I recreated Montessori Color Boxes. This was an easy project requiring only 80 2x3 pieces of plywood, paint chips in 11 or so colors and shades, and glue. Hah. While the finished project is simple, this did actually take quite a bit of time to put together. We had to search for just the right shades of each color, my husband cut all the wood for me, I sanded it, trimmed the chips to the right size then glued them all on. I actually worked here and there over a couple of weeks but the end result was worth it! Despite the sweat equity, it was quite a cheap "work" to assemble.

(Color Box #1 involves matching the primary colors.)

I'm not sure exactly when/how it happened but sometime during the fall and early winter, M. suddenly exploded and knew all his colors. He could identify them all before he could talk, and seemed to have picked them up just through everyday experiences (just what we want, right?) Therefore, I knew going in that he was beyond Color Box #1 and nearly Color Box #2, but forged ahead since this will likely be used by several more children (Lord willing!).

(Color Box #2 is matching pairs of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, black, gray, pink, and brown tablets.)

We started working on Color Box #3 late last week, and I was floored that M. needed almost no instruction on what to do! He seemed to know instinctively that the goal was to arrange the tablets from dark to light and he was easily able to self-correct and rearrange when necessary. We did pink/red, purple, and half of green before he got tired.

(Color Box #3 involves gradation of shades: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, and brown. There are six shades in each family.)

What we do need to work on is naming the various shades of each color. He referred to the lightest tablet in each family as white and saying "light purple," "lighter purple," "medium," "dark," "darkest" seemed to confuse him slightly. He did better without my input, actually! It was clear that while he can see the differences in the shades, he still needs help putting a name to each slight variation in color.

I think we're going to have a lot of fun with these this winter!

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