Today, I want to share some simple ways to introduce colors to toddlers. For these activities, I’m using Spielgaben yarn balls and wooden beads along with some free printables. Spielgaben educational toys are designed for ages 3-12, but I have safe ways to use some of the toys with toddlers.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spielgaben. All opinions are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).
In case you’re not familiar with Spielgaben toys, they are exceptionally high-quality educational toys designed for ages 3-12. You can see from the photo that the cabinet is very high quality and fits in well in a room with traditional Montessori materials. I love the new, easily removable drawers in version 4. The yarn balls from the 1st Spielgaben set can be used with babies and toddlers, too. The Spielgaben complete set comes with over 1,000 pages of supplementary learning materials that help you as a parent or teacher easily use Spielgaben toys educationally with your child and/or students. All of the instructional materials are digital PDFs that can be printed out or viewed on any device.
Spielgaben Materials Used in This Post
I’ve reviewed two different versions of Spielgaben toys. For this post, I used the Spielgaben yarn balls from version 4 and wooden lacing beads from version 1.
I’ll link to free printables which will help make the activities simple to prepare yet attractive. I’ll also tell you where I found the materials for my activities.
Matching Colors with Spielgaben Yarn Balls and DIY Colored Gift Bags
I’ve enjoyed preparing little DIY gift bags for my 17-month-old granddaughter Zoey since she was a year old. She loves moving objects in and out of bags, so I’ve sometimes had themed gift bags for her to use with her Spielgaben yarn balls. Zoey had Christmas gift bags as well as rainbow gift bags. She loved both kinds.
This time, I changed the concept from simply putting yarn balls in gift bags to matching colored yarn balls to colored gift bags. I like that it’s safe for toddlers and uses the Montessori principle of isolation of quality. Both the gift bags and yarn balls vary only in color, making it clear that color is the concept being explored. I used the free Easy Paper Gift Bag for Rubber Stamping Projects from Rubber Stamping. Obviously, you could use a rubber stamp to make holiday or other themed gift bags using the same template. I used cardstock in primary and secondary colors to match the Spielgaben yarn balls.
We introduced the color matching as shown in the video below. At Zoey’s age, knowing color names isn’t important. We introduced the color names simply as a vocabulary exercise, although Zoey has picked up many color names spontaneously already. The main focus was on the matching activity. Watch the video to see Zoey’s response!
To introduce color tablets with yarn balls, see this post and the link to free color tablet printables from Montessori Print Shop: Montessori-Inspired Activities for Babies and Toddlers Using Yarn Balls. For more DIY Montessori color tablets and presentation ideas, see my DIY Montessori Color Tablets post.
Matching Colored Bags and Yarn Balls for Toddlers YouTube Video
Introducing a Color Pattern with a Rainbow Color Bead Necklace
For toddlers who still mouth objects, I don’t recommend that they use the Spielgaben pieces independently other than the yarn balls. The wooden beads are too small to be safe except as a necklace. I used natural waxed cotton lacing cord that I purchased at Michaels craft store (a thin ribbon would also work) to string the beads (as in my DIY Teether Extenders for Babies Who Love to Chew on Necklaces). I recommend tying the cord with 3 or 4 tight knots.
I strung the beads in the order of rainbow colors, making a rainbow colored bead necklace. You could move the beads along the string, saying the names of the colors. It’s a good fine-motor activity for toddlers who enjoy moving the beads on the string.
I stored the necklace in a basket.
Zoey thought the necklace was fun!
Introducing Color Patterns and Matching with Wooden Spielgaben Beads
For toddlers who no longer mouth objects (or for toddlers who are growing out of the mouthing stage … with constant supervision), you could introduce color pattern matching with the Spielgaben wooden beads. I used the cylinder-shaped beads because they’re easier for toddlers to place on the card without rolling like the spherical beads would.
Zoey was able to match the colored beads to the card. I only put one card and the correct number of beads in the basket as a control of error. As your toddler becomes more proficient at matching, you could add more cards and beads to the basket. I used the free Color Pattern Cards from PreKinders for the printable.
My Previous Spielgaben Posts:
Most of these include links to free printables!
My original Spielgaben review includes examples of Montessori-inspired activities as shown in the collage above.
VERSION 4 OF SPIELGABEN EDUCATIONAL TOYS
I highly recommend Spielgaben as an amazing educational material for home or school. Even though the toys aren’t inexpensive, they’re definitely worth the price because of the high quality of materials and number of years your children or students can use them.
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