Inside: Put together a week’s worth of easy color recognition activities that toddlers and preschoolers will love!
It’s so easy to put together easy color recognition activities, and you really don’t need a lot of materials for many of them.
Today I’m sharing enough activities that will last at least a week, most likely longer. These hands-on ideas teach a variety of skills while also focusing on lots of exposure to colors.
Perfect for at home or in the classroom!
Make sure to check out these “A Week’s Worth” collections, too:
A Week’s Worth of Shape Recognition Activities
A Week’s Worth of Alphabet Activities
A Week’s Worth of Apple Learning Activities
A Week’s Worth of Pumpkin Learning Activities
A Week’s Worth of Easy Color Recognition Activities
- Make a rainbow with cardboard and colorful felt pieces.
Supplies: Cardboard (shaped like a rainbow), glue, felt pieces in the colors of the rainbow
- Mix colors using small scrub brushes for some fun process art.
Supplies: Paper, assorted paint, scrub brushes
- Swirl different colors in shaving cream and watch them mix. (Natural Beach Living)
Supplies: Shaving cream, food coloring
- Draw on coffee filters with primary colors and watch what happens when it gets wet. (Kitchen Table Classroom)
Supplies: Coffee filters, markers in primary colors, water
- Create rainbow suncatchers by pressing small pieces of tissue paper on to sticky paper.
Supplies: Paper plates, Contact Paper, pieces of colorful tissue paper
- Sort objects by color and move them along the taped lines to drop them off – a great pre-writing activity. (Days with Grey)
Supplies: Duplos, felt squares, dump trucks, painters tape
- This motor game helps children explore colors while also building strength and coordination. (Best Toys 4 Toddlers)
Supplies: Card stock paper in different colors, felt or tissue paper, ribbon or yarn, plastic baggies, dry beans or rice
- Make your own skee ball set to get the children moving while also working on sorting and color recognition. (I Can Teach My Child)
Supplies: Empty cardboard boxes, packing tape, ball pit balls, markers
- Invite your children to make their own book that focuses on the colors of the rainbow. (Fun-a-Day)
Supplies: Long white paper or cardboard, construction paper in rainbow colors, stickers in rainbow colors, and markers in rainbow colors
- Uncover your children’s names with different colors of watercolor. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
Supplies: White paper, white crayon, watercolors
- Sort rainbow chick peas by color (and work on fine motor skills, too!). (Play to Learn Preschool)
Supplies: Dyed chick peas, muffin tin, colored paper, magnetic tape
- Make your own pipe cleaner math flags that also work on color matching. (Pocket of Preschool)
Supplies: Colored tape, colored pipe cleaners, colored pony beads
- Scoop the fish out of the water and place them in the matching bowls.
Supplies: Water bin, plastic fish, bowls the same colors as the fish, nets or cups
- Put together a sensory bin of different colored items to recognize and sort. (Entertain Your Toddler)
Supplies: Plastic eggs, food lids, craft sticks, pom poms, pipe cleaners
- Sort buttons by color and then press into playdough.
Supplies: Playdough, jumbo buttons, matching colored bowls
- Color playdough with markers. (Homegrown Friends)
Supplies: White playdough, different colors of markers
- What Color Is Your Fish? Each child holds a printable fish puppet as you identify its color.
Supplies: Free fish printable, craft sticks , tape
- What Color Is Your Car? Same as the fish activity, except this uses printable car stick puppets.
Supplies: Free automobile printable, craft sticks, tape
- Match the colors of the owls with a free owl printable.
Supplies: Free owl printable cards
- Create ice cubes in primary colors and find out what happens when two colors start thawing in the same container. (Gift of Curiosity)
Supplies: Paper cups, water, white or clear containers, liquid watercolor paints
- Put together a jello and vinegar experiment for scented and colorful science fun! (Fun a Day)
Supplies: Jello powder, baking soda, vinegar, squeeze bottles
- What happens when you mix chalk with water, and then use on paper? (The Keeper of Memories)
Supplies: Chalk, water
- Learn about capillary action with this walking water activity. (Parenting Chaos)
Supplies: Food dye or washable watercolors, paper towels, water, clear containers
- Let the children help make a rainbow fruit salad.
Supplies: Various kitchen utensils, assorted fruit in different colors of the rainbow
- Make rainbow toast using edible paint. (Holley Grainger)
Supplies: Milk, food coloring, white bread
More Easy Color Recognition Posts
Color Activity Collections
Color Recognition Activities That Also Build Fine Motor Skills
Toddler and Preschool Color Mixing Activities
Classroom Set Up
Preschool Color Activity Plans
I am so excited to be a co-author of these color theme activity plans.
24 preschool learning activities for your colors theme, including literacy, math, science, art, fine motor, and more! A great resource for teachers and homeschoolers.
CLICK HERE for more information!
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loved all the ideas you have I work with pre-schoolers I am always looking for new ideas I always have problems with craft Ideas. I love this site.
Thank you so much! I appreciate you sharing this.
You have a good variety of tweezers and tongs. Do you have good recommendations for low cost options that work with this age group? I find mixed reviews on amazon, but am looking for good options.
I really like Discount School Supply as far as cost. I love Lakeshore (where we bought our blue tweezers), but they can be a bit pricier. Their quality is wonderful, though.
I also meant to mention that some of the tongs I got from a restaurant supply company. They were from a restaurant that was closing, so I got a whole bunch of them for a couple of dollars. But I know they also sell them brand new at a reasonable cost. You might want to see if you have a restaurant supply store near you.
Amie (Triple T Mum)
I love these tray activities! Thank you for indicating the ages, as I have both ages here this makes selecting an activity quick and easy 🙂
Thanks, Amie! To be honest, I hadn’t thought of indicating the ages until a reader asked which ones were best for which age group (sensory table activities). I will make sure to do that more often in my future posts. That’s why I appreciate everyone’s comments and feedback! 🙂
Karen @ PreKinders.com
Great collection of ideas, Sheryl! Lots of fine motor ideas I haven’t seen before.
Thank you, Karen!
I love all the activities you are doing…i do many similar ones with my 2.5 yr twins…absolutely loving your space here!Thanks for sharing your inspiration!
Thank you, Jodie!
Do you encourage the children to keep the objects on the tray or incorporate them in their play in other areas?
The threes learn to keep them on the tray. We model how to put the items back after they are finished. With the twos, this can be more of a challenge, as part of their development includes loving to move everything and carry as much as they can, so we don’t make a big deal out of it with them.
Angelina Sáenz, M. Ed.
I really thank you for the pictures and description of the tray activities. I find them so inspiring and respectful of our children’s developmental levels. I can’t wait to use these in my KINDERGARTEN classroom. My students will truly enjoy it. THANK YOU!
Thank you Angelina!!!
If church or school orders take out for a group, salads and things come with tongs. Save them for school tray work for the 3’s. Even 3’s will carry things around the first week or so, but we review how it all stays on the tray so we don’t lose things and they will have them to play with next time. It’s all part of the learning with a group. When you just have a few children it is easier to keep track of things. I have 12…not so easy when it is clean up time and they are helping.
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I work in a Montessori preschool and we have a lot of activities very similar to this, great job!
thank u for sharing your ideas , i love all of them so creative 🙂
When would they use these? During center play? after snack time? Small groups? Our day is scheduled somewhat different but I am curious as to where these fit in your day? Do you see any of these being appropriate for 18-24 mo?
Where and when do you use these throughout the day? center time? after snack on the carpet? small groups? Our day is structured somewhat different than yours and I’m interested in how we may be able to incorporate these into our day. Do you think any of these would be appropriate for 18-24 mo olds? We are (hopefully) transitioning from a “babysitting” type program to a more preschool program and I’m longing to understand how to navigate that. Thanks for sharing your brain, experience and your resources.
We have these out during our centers time, on a table. For younger children, start very simple, with just one or two. It’s a bit more challenging because they want to walk off with the materials. Even our 2 year olds do that. If you have a small group, you could try sitting with them. Model how the materials are used, but give them the freedom to explore in their own ways, too. I was in your place 15 years ago. When I arrived at our preschool, it was more of a mom’s morning out and the children needed (longed for) more to do. Just experiment with different activities and see what works. Good luck!