Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's a colorful world!

There's so much you can do with colors! It's easy to do a storytime about color---so many books, so much to talk about. 

We started out talking about what colors the children were wearing---red, blue, green, brown, gray, yellow, and of course, the ever-popular pink. Then instead of singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" we sang:

If you're wearing red today, clap your hands!
If you're wearing red today, clap your hands!
If you're wearing red today, clap your hands and shout hurray!
If you're wearing red today, clap your hands!

---and on through blue and all the rest.

Our books were Dog's Colorful Day, by Emma Dodd, Lemons Are Not Red, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, and an old-time favorite of mine, The Adventures of Three Colors, by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor.

The Adventures of Three Colors was first published in 1971 and reissued in 1980. I wish someone would reprint it---it's a delightful introduction to color theory. In the story Herbie and his dog Angelo see a rainbow and are inspired to go home and do some painting. But Herbie finds that he only has three colors in his paintbox: pink, blue, and yellow. What can he do with only three colors?

It turns out that he can do everything. The clever element in the book is the use of clear plastic pages. For instance, on one there is a blue elephant and on the facing regular page there is a yellow dog. When the plastic page is laid over the regular page a green fish appears where the elephant and the dog intersect. Several of these kind of pages follow, culminating in an undersea picture with an octopus, crab, and seahorse. Amazing!

This book isn't seen in libraries much anymore. I used my own copy of the book, one that my children enjoyed for many years.

Here's a color chant or game that the kids enjoyed doing---

If you see red, put your hand on your head,
If you see blue, touch your shoe,
If you see green, wash your face clean,
If you see yellow, wave at the fellow,
If orange is found, put your hand on the ground,
If you see pink, then think, think think!

We added more lines to the ones I already knew. I asked the kids to suggest colors, and we made up the following:

If purple you see, put your hand on your knee,
If you see white, hold your hands up to the light,
If you see black, put your hands on your back,
If you see brown, put your hand on the ground.

What could you do with turquoise, azure, or chartreuse?

We did an extremely simple craft, one that I felt a little guilty about. We strung colorful Fruit Loops on pipe cleaners to make edible bracelets. Easy and fun, but all that sugar! Sugar is the first ingredient listed on the box, so you know that Fruit Loops are really just candy, even if they are sprayed with "15 vitamins and minerals." I hope none of the mothers minded my giving their children a sugary snack.

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