Sunday, January 12, 2014

Make a Math, Language, and Critical Thought Manipulative: Color Macaroni!

Last week we talked about the importance of knowing and using color words. This is necessary for both expressive (saying) and receptive (hearing) preschool language skills. There are so many meaningful and fun activities you can do with colored macaroni that we thought it important to share our favorite techniques with you.  Remember, this isn’t just about you, as the adult, making a cheap manipulative, but it’s about modeling for children that we don’t always need expensive tools. We can make them!

Parents can take children to the grocery store to look at the boxes of pasta. Discuss the different shapes. Teachers can cut out advertisements showing various pasta shapes and bring these in to show the class. Discuss the shapes children find interesting and tell them you will try to buy them. You can even make a list together, a great interactive writing lesson that shows children the power of writing!

Be sure to add white vinegar, food coloring, and zip-loc bags to your list.  Bring all the ingredients and show children just how these simple household supplies can create meaningful learning tools.

Pour about 3 tablespoons of white vinegar into a baggie.  Then have your young helpers decide on a color. We suggest guiding them to the primary colors first. Then using information and activities from last week’s activity, encourage children to mix the primary colors to create green, orange, and purple.

Ask children to help you find various macaroni shapes.

 Shake the bags and allow to dry a bit.

Then place the contents of each bag on wax paper to air dry.

When finished, show children the wonderful and easy learning tools they helped create!

 Check back next week for macaroni lessons!

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