Summer is here! Time to soak up the sunshine and play outside. If you’re looking for outside play that is relatively educational, and you have young children learning their colors, try these color match games. You can play all of these games outside, and we even have three ideas for indoor color matching! One is more of a science experiment – but still involves colors!
Outdoor Color Match Games
Sidewalk chalk color hop
The concept of this game is simple for little ones. Take your sidewalk chalk and draw large dots to form a circle of different-colored dots. Hop from one different colored dot to the next, shouting out the color as you go along (“Red!” “Blue!”). Your kids can copy you or they can do it on their own. See if they recognize the correct colors. To add in color matching, see if they can find something outside that is the color of the dot they’re on. Then bring it back to place it on the correct colored dot.
Color scavenger hunt
Choose a few colors and write them down or put those colored post-its on a piece of paper. You could even use the sidewalk chalk and make it a mission for your kids to find something that matches the color. This is great for walks around the neighborhood and if kids get bored at grandma’s house. Write in what they find if they can’t yet write, and whoever finds all the objects that match all the colors wins!
Colored ball match
If you have plasticcolored “pit” balls, match them to a colored bucket or bag for a different take on Bozo buckets. (Did I just age myself?) Line up the different colored buckets/bags and have your kids toss the matching colored ball in each one.
Sidewalk chalk BINGO
This isn’t your average game of BINGO. Draw a quick board on your sidewalk or driveway, but without BINGO at the top. You don’t need letters to play this version. Instead, fill in each space a different color of sidewalk chalk. Call out a color and have your kids put a rock or something else they find outside on the correct color on their board.
Here’s that science experiment that acts as a magic trick. Take a muffin tin and put a few drops of food coloring in each muffin space. Top each of the drops with a good sized tablespoon of baking soda. Set it inside a storage container to avoid a mess, and give your child a squirt bottle of white vinegar. You can also dilute the white vinegar with water; a 50-50 mix will reveal the colors just fine. Let them squirt the vinegar in the muffin tin to reveal the hidden colors, and have them name each color as they’re revealed.
For rainy days (or days when the humidity is way too high)
Stickers on a paper towel roll
Grab a paper towel or toilet paper tube and use markers to cover it in different colored dots. Hand over a sheet or two of dot stickers in multiple colors and boom: instant quiet activity. You can turn this into a letter matching activity. You can also do it with numbers, shapes, or sight words. Anything you can write on a dot sticker and create a corresponding match with will do.
Pom-poms to colored egg carton
Reduce, reuse, and recycle with this game. Take an empty egg carton and poke pom-pom sized holes in the top of each egg section. Then use markers to color around the holes with different colors. Hand a bowl or bag of the colored pom-poms to your child and have them push the pom-poms through the matching color on the egg carton.
Colored toys on construction paper
You’ll need to organize your kids’ toys that are red, blue, etc. Lay construction paper on the floor and ask your kids to match the red blocks (for example) to the red paper.