Colors can be used for some amazing play opportunities. Unexpectedly, doing some exercises led to color play for one-to-one matching.
Children’s play is immensely interesting to watch. Given time and space to play, kids will challenge themselves to solve problems while they are having fun. Little Sister started out with a 4 soft mats in different colors. First, she made a color road and did some running and jumping. As she was putting them together, I asked her about the colors and made some incidental comments, such as the red one was attached to the green one and what color was attached to yellow, etc. She tried a few somersaults and jumps too.
After some time doing exercises, she looked around for something else. For some reason, she then piled the chair cushions on the mats, with one cushion on each mat. She jumped from one cushion to the other for a bit.
Her next move, was to put one place mat on each cushion, making another layer. She didn’t jump on these. Apparently, it was enough to put one cushion on each mat, and one place mat on each cushion.
One to one matching or correspondence seems obvious to us but it’s something kids need to practice. It’s a critical thinking strategy for reading and math. In math, one number goes to one item. In language, one spoken word goes to one meaning and in reading, one word squiggle goes also goes to one word.
Besides colors, there are other ways for kids to explore one-to-one. At the table, every person gets one plate. When dressing, one foot has one sock and shoe. In our interactions with others, one-to-one is often used to solve difficulties. Everybody gets one turn before someone has another. When passing around the cookies, each person takes one.
Play stretches bodies and brains. This color play was a fun way to explore one to one correspondence or matching. How does your child play with colors?