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Colorful Orange Activities: Three Ideas

written by: Tania Cowling • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 3/2/2012

Since many early childhood programs introduce one color at a time, why not make this an orange week? Read on to find orange activities to use in your preschool curriculum plans.

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    SANY0104 Young children love to explore colors; all the colors of the rainbow. Put creative and colorful activities into your daily routine that encourage children to use all of their senses. Let them see, hear, smell, feel, and taste these orange activities during your lessons. The projects below are simple and use inexpensive materials already on hand; maybe use these ideas with other colors too!

    Begin by hanging a prism (found in educational or science stores) in a sunny window. Watch how the colors shine in and produce a rainbow on the floor. Can the children find the color orange? Next, talk about words that represent different shades of orange. Words such as pumpkin, peach, apricot, tangerine, gold, flame, copper, etc. Can your group think of others?

    Outdoors look for orange in nature. Give each child a square of orange paper and take a walk. Look for orange things in the community. Ask the children, "Can you find a flower that matches this piece of paper?" or "Can you find a sign or building that is painted orange?"

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    Make Play Dough

    Try making this homemade play dough that is orange-colored and scented.

    You will need:

    • 4 cups flour
    • 2 cups salt
    • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 4 cups water
    • Yellow and red food coloring
    • Orange extract
    • Airtight container
    • Sauce pan, spoon, measuring cups
    • Stove or hot plate

    What to do:

    1. Place water into a sauce pan. Add the food coloring and talk with the children about the color changes when you add the red and yellow.
    2. Measure and add all the other ingredients.
    3. Cook the mixture over medium heat. Stir until the mixture is stiff. (Adults only)
    4. Let it cool.
    5. Invite the children to help you knead the dough. Encourage them to find ways to roll, pound, flatten and squish the dough.
    6. Ask the children to smell the dough. What fruit flavor does it smell like?
    7. When the children are finished playing, store the dough in an airtight, plastic container.
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    Stained Glass Pumpkins

    Here's a fun project to make and teaches color mixing as well.

    You will need:

    • Small squares of red and yellow tissue paper
    • 12-15 inch square of clear adhesive paper, 1 per child
    • Safety scissors
    • Tape

    What to do:

    1. Tape the clear adhesive paper to the table in front of each child, sticky side up.
    2. Invite them to place the red and yellow tissue paper onto the sticky paper. Show the children how to divide the paper in half with their eyes. Place the red paper on one side and the yellow paper on the other side.
    3. When finished, untape the paper and fold in half. Notice how the overlapping of the two colors make orange. Emphasize this to the children.
    4. Help the children to cut this square into a pumpkin shape. Talk about the shape and colors of pumpkins.

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    Orange Fruit Cups

    Plan an orange snack for the day with this recipe.

    You will need:

    • Orange, 1 per child
    • Other fruits, chopped (like apples, cherries, banana, pear)
    • Bowl
    • Knives, sharp metal knife for adults only, plastic knives for children
    • Spoon

    What to do:

    1. An adult cuts off the top of the orange and scoops the inside orange sections into a bowl.
    2. Together with the children, chop up the other fruits and place into the bowl with the orange pieces.
    3. Invite the children to spoon some of the fruit salad into their orange cup.
    4. Serve and enjoy.

    For additional activities to do with your preschoolers when emphasizing the color orange, talk about other orange foods, such as carrots, peaches, orange juice, sherbet, cheese, and gelatin.

    Source: Personal experience teaching in the classroom

    Photo credit by mantasmajorical Morguefile