Monday, September 29, 2008

Montessori Color Box

We own a poor creative man's set of the color box; they're free from Home Depot.  About a year ago, when I started my Montessori kick (and when I knew nothing about Montessori), I presented these to Mr. Intensity.  It flopped.  We both were frustrated.  I still don't know a lot about Montessori, but thanks to the world of blogs, I'm learning.

Today's "game" with Mr. Intensity started with giving him scissors and asking him to cut along the white lines.  It's not perfect, but I think he did a smashing job.

I'm thinking of doing a variation of this activity with the art group, so I thought I'd let him give it a whirl today to see where the activity needed revisions.  

I showed him how the colors are lighter at the top.  "The colors are dark at the bottom and as white is added it gets lighter."  I wasn't sure if this explanation was adequate but when I looked at his face, he was totally trackin' and digging it!  We went through all seven colors, pointing first at the dark bottom and saying, "add a bit of white and we get this color." 

After he cut them all apart, we mixed them into a big heap.  He separated them into color piles then organized them lightest to darkest.  I was mucho impressed.  A few of the swatches are hard to discern (esp. the two lightest yellows.)

The first time he completed the activity and checked his work against the "control" (which was a paint chip still in tact) he needed to correct 3 colors.  Then it was my turn.  :) 

The second time he completed it he didn't need to make any changes!  I love watching him learn and grow.  Next, I want to try the sunburst.

UPDATE:  used these in preschool art group.


Jennie said...

You know, there's a lot to be said for the "creative" man's color box - we have the actual color box, and the colors are so hard to discern you have to be standing under really bright light to use them, and even then you're straining your eyes. This looks like a great solution, and one I might explore - thanks! (Oh, and I love the idea of having the kids cut along the white lines - nice touch! And Mr. I did a great job!! :)

Julie said...

okay I just spent several minutes typing you a comment and it got deleted... I hate that!! UGH

Okay, so what I was trying to say before... you had asked if you could send me anything crafty... this is it! I would love to do this with Eli and Jasper... they don't have those color charts here... they do, but you can only look at them in the store. No pressure, but those would be so cool! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

GREAT activity.

John and Pam said...


Amy from Occupation: Mommy said...

We have the same color box! I just couldn't see spending all that money when Home Depot chips are free. Good idea to have him cut them apart, though.

reprehriestless warillever said...

Very cool!

We have used hardware store paint chips for matching activities -- the Disney brand paint is goo for that -- but this never occurred to me.

John and Janel Breitenstein said...

I love this and will totally try it! If you are really feeling daring, we learned a ton with tempera paints about mixing colors. Wonder if I could do a color wheel with those...? Anyway, we will raid Home Depot soon! Thx!

missy said...

very fun! i love that home depot is also a homeschooling resource. last home study visit tomorrow. she's doing a walk through of our house. i should be cleaning, but i'm kind of thinking i will take the "this is the way we really live" approach. i'm sure i will panic an hour before she comes and try to look like a stepford wife, but for right now i'm feeling free.

The Freak of Nature said...

Wow, I love that it's free and easy!
I hope you don't mind that I'll add this to my Homemade Montessori list.

Julie said...

By all means - add it to your list! Only if you promise to have fun with them. :)

Kristin said...

Thanks for posting this idea, a few months later I finally did it and linked to you, hope that's ok.


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