Whether she’s just learning the names of the stripes in a rainbow or discovering that blue and yellow make green, there are plenty of ways to help your child explore the colorful world we live in. Here, a few of our favorite games.
Color By Number Mystery Mosaics
Match the letters in the squares on the page with the corresponding pencil colors and watch as an image appears. Will it be a majestic lion? A colorful parrot? A feathery owl? As the answer reveals itself, parents can appreciate the focus required for these coloring puzzles.
Melissa & Doug On the Go Secret Decoder Activity Book Set
Hidden ink, red-lens technology, and a decoder wheel factor prominently in this ages seven-plus mystery-solving kit for kids. Colors reveal themselves, and crimes are solved. 54 separate puzzles are included.
DIY: Uncover the Color
Draw a large circle on a piece of paper, then dissect it into a 6-way pie. Take 6 different colors or crayons and have your kid color each pie section a unique color. Then grab a black crayon and have them color over the entire circle, pressing hard down into the paper as they go. Once the pie has turned black, take an object with a flat edge (the tip of a spoon or corner of a ruler will do), and allow your child to creatively carve shapes into the black circle. The outline of a butterfly, cloud or heart will appear in a swirl of vibrant hues.
ABC Coloring Book
What’s better than teaching your child the names of colors? Teaching them new words at the same time. This coloring book lists the letters of the alphabet, paired with up to 35 objects beginning with the same letter that your child can color in.
Kid’s Travel Fun Book
Pack this gem on your next family road trip. Ninety-six pages of coloring fun, including designing a vacation map, and instructions on making — and coloring — a paper airplane. The book also includes such backseat distractions as drawing diaries and a game of charades.
DIY: Dressing Mr. Rabbit
This simple game requires nothing more than a box of crayons and an active imagination. How it works: Take the black crayon and draw your child the outline of a vertical, humanized rabbit (a round head with big ears and whiskers, oval middle, and elongated feet will do – it’s not an art competition). Then she picks a few colors and crayons in a shirt, pants, and shoes. True, a coloring book could provide better sketches, but there is something special about working together to create the goofy illustration.
As long as kids have been going to summer camp, camp counselors have kept kids busy transforming their simple white undershirts into psychedelic works of art. You can use a one-step kit to streamline the process, or DIY like this: Take a white cotton shirt and soak it in a warm water-ash solution. Remove and dry. Add food coloring or clothing dye to gallon of warm water. Take your T-shirt, roll it up into a tube shape, and segment it off with rubber bands. Dip one section into the dye solution. Remove. Repeat with a new, different color dye until entire shirt is colored. Let air dry. Unroll and enjoy your masterpiece.