Thursday, September 6, 2012

Toddler Time - Color Matching

This week I was extra productive and created two crafts for Ethan to play with. In fact, I did them in the same day and one while he was even awake! That right there should tell you how easy these two activities are to make! 

The first one I made was crafted from an idea on Pinterest. It basically involves matching pipe cleaners with color coded holes. Look at that concentration!

Here is what you need to get started....

Empty Pringles can with lid
Pipe Cleaners (about 8 different colors)
Hammer and screw (yeah screw...has to create a big enough hole for the pipe cleaners to go through)
Craft paint
1 sheet of construction paper or cardstock
Packing tape or clear contact paper


1. Carefully hammer holes into the metal bottom of the can. It will dent a little so try not to take all of your toddler mommy frustrations out on the poor can. 

2. Next I painted the bottom of the can white just for looks. I then painted the holes each a different color to match up with the pipe cleaners I had on hand. And no, I didn't take the time to make it pretty ;) It's definitely home made folks.

3. This step is really optional but I covered the can with a piece of construction paper and used packaging tape on top of that so there wouldn't be a problem later with greasy finger marks. You don't have to cover it, but I knew my kid would be more interested in the missing chips than the game if I didn't do it. You could paint it too...just use whatever you have on hand.

Now it's time for the fun to begin!

A lot of times the key to making these activities really work is asking the right questions. If he had a green pipe cleaner in his hand I couldn't simply just ask him to match it to the green one because he would look for another pipe cleaner. I needed to point at the holes and ask him which one it went in..."No, that hole is red and you have a green pipe cleaner" as I pointed out exactly what I meant by pipe cleaner and hole. You just have to keep changing your instructions around until you find what works.

I promise he was having fun. Don't mind the teary "I hate waking up from naps" eyes. Or the runny nose....

I fully expect that the more we use the same activities over and over, the easier it will become. The goal is just to make it fun the first go around. Neither of you need to get frustrated :) 

The best part is that all the pipe cleaners are self contained in the can since you have the lid on the bottom. And we all know how toddlers love to dump things out! Save the best for last right?

I also wanted to share one other color matching activity we did this week that was super easy to make.

For complete instructions please visit Rach over at Life Ever Since who actually made this as part of a craft swap. I did mine just a touch different by using a two craft punches, magnets and contact paper. Again, it's all about using what you have on hand.

Thanks Rach for the great idea. Ethan loved it! 

Happy Toddler Time!

(Linking up today with Cajun Cowgirl and Momma Mar)


  1. Thanks for continuing to inspire me with new arts/crafts learning ideas for Mason!

  2. I love the pipe cleaner activity! Such a simple concept, but a great teaching tool for littles!

  3. LOVE these...thank you so much for sharing. Ethan looks just as adorable as always;)

    Hope you guys are having a good week!

  4. Cute ideas. I have done the pipe cleaner one, but I haven't ever seen the other one. We'll have to give it a try.

  5. These are awesome! I like the color matching mat. Do you think it would work to recognize numbers?

  6. Great ideas! Love the homemade stuff!


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