Saturday, October 24, 2020

Some Kindergarten Ideas for Color Explorations

I am really feeling drawn to the idea of spending some time on Colors. Of course, Zac already knows the names of all of the colors. But the world is so bright and beautiful outside right now, before November brings all of its grey and dreariness, and I keep thinking of Color books and Color activities. So I'm organizing what is on my mind right now. And, yes, we would still do a Halloween story on October 31st. My favorite is Suzanne Down's story "How Witchamaroo Became the Pocket Witch." Here's the blog post from October 2018 with some photos plus our Circle Time and activities for that week.

I had actually made this needle felted hollow pumpkin for the story with the mouse and the spider, and then lost it (!), so I started using a pumpkin basket for "The Pumpkin House." Then when I found my original pumpkin I used it for Witchamaroo, so that she had something special for her story.

I remember when I was new to Waldorf in 2004 and I would see these pictures of beautiful wood and wool and silk toys and Nature table setups and it drove me absolutely crazy. Because it was all so expensive and/or time consuming! But I now know that you build up a collection like that over time and there's no rush. You can get a book or two and a toy or two each month, and it will slowly accumulate. Now, because my oldest child is 18, I have 16 years worth of Waldorf stuff. And Zac is fortunate to be the youngest, because he is surrounded by lovely things. I found Witchamaroo at the Magic Cabin website as part of a collection of Halloween Half-Penny Dolls. She just happened to fit into a little heart-shaped pocket necklace someone made for me years ago with a little peg doll in it (and which just happened to have a purple ribbon). So between the witch doll, the hollow pumpkin, and the pocket necklace, it all worked out. I think the key to teaching is to keep everything that everyone ever gives you because you will need it at some point. You just need to have a place to keep it all organized... that's the trick. But I have so often kept something for over a decade and then used it in a craft project or a story idea. It really does work.

Thoughts About Celebrating Colors


Pink is for Boys

by Robb Pearlman

this is a really important book and I think it should be read on the first day of Kindergarten and First Grade in classrooms across the country

Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color

by Julia Denos

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors

by Joyce Sidman

Red Berry Wool

by Robyn Eversole


I think that Red Berry Wool lends itself well to crockpot dyeing wool yarn and also finger knitting. If you haven't started finger knitting yet, Kindergarten is the perfect time! And this story is always the one that I use to introduce it.

I think that Red Sings from Treetops is ideal for painting nature poetry. Waldorf early childhood often does wet-on-wet watercolor painting with just one color, and as the color dances across the paper the child gets to experience that color all on its own. Does it have a personality? Does it want to move in a certain way? How is painting blue different from painting red (hint: a red painting is over VERY quickly) and how is painting yellow different from them both? A nice Autumn poem for painting might be Autumn Fires by Robert Louis Stevenson.

On a rainy day, try painting There Are Holes in the Sky by Spike Milligan with a little tiny brush, blue watercolor paint, and dry paper.

(You can also do a movement experience with an Autumn poem. Pleasant Sounds by John Clare would be simply wonderful to play with that way.)

Anything with Autumn leaves would go well here too. I really want to do leaves dipped in beeswax!

I think that Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color would inspire color mixing (and naming) play. It is so fun to look at paint chips and see what the colors are called. I also love the idea of giving a child some paint chips and asking them to find those colors on a Nature walk. Or, mix your own color and paint it onto a slip of paper, and then go for a walk and see if you can find it!

And I think that Pink is for Boys is perfect for dyeing multi-colored rice.

And for making wet felted acorns (keep an eye out for acorn caps on those Nature walks). These are easy and fun. They're perfect for the Nature table and also make great gifts, especially if you make a whole rainbow of them.

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