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Exploring Red

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We have been following along with Play Create Explore and their weekly exploration of color. Last week was green. This week is red. One thing that I have learned so far from these themes is to think of new ways to use what we have around the house…things I've overlooked before! Here are some activities that we did at our house:

Light Box Ladybug Dress Up Party

Ladybug is the affectionate name I call my daughter most often so it was only natural to focus on ladybugs this week. She put on her Ladybug Halloween costume and then we turned the lights red in our multi-colored light box to dress it up like a ladybug with some freehand black construction paper shapes I had cut out. We invited her Happy Napper ladybug and her Pillow Pet ladybug. We didn't affix the spots on the light box, which allowed her to slide them around and rearrange them. We counted them, took one away or added one and counted again. A couple times I arranged the spots a certain way on one wing and asked her if she could match it on the other side.

I think this was her favorite light box activity yet! In fact she asked to have a Ladybug Party again the next day and she decided that I needed to dress up like a ladybug too. I put on a red shirt and let her tape more black circles to my back. Then she asked for ladybug music on Pandora (her first website word, sigh!) so I put on some kids music. And…Boom…Ladybug Dance Party, Lalymom Style!

My Little Red Book
This one is pretty simple. I folded a piece of red construction paper in half and stapled white half-sheets of paper into to make a book. First I let her color using any of the markers and crayons then when she tired of that I brought out the stickers which included the letters of her name. We talked about how we should write her name on the cover just like when we read books and I tell her the name of the person who wrote it. I wrote her name on the cover just for fun and then had to go check on Little Big Man. When I came back to check on her she had placed the letter stickers on top of the letters I wrote, spelling her name, bonus! I loved it that she told me she was drawing the story of the Three Blind Mice and hummed the song while she drew and better yet when she was done she said, in my favorite toddlerspeak voice, “There. All done, and they all lived happily every after…”
Red Sensory Bag
We found a bunch of red toys that all felt different and placed them in a bag. Since we had never done this before I had Ladybug name each item and place them in the bag herself. Then we took turns putting our hand in the bag and guessing what item we had without looking. I think I may do this again with her and still have her place them in the bag, I'm not sure she would get everything without knowing what was in there first. Maybe she would surprise me though!
High Five Obstacle Course
Ladybug is in her first session of swim classes, where it has become clear that she could use some work on jumping (they have the kids jump into the pool). I combined two of her favorite current activities: tracing her hand and making an obstacle course. We snuck in tied in the red by cutting out red hand prints, which reminded me of a target. I taped them around her normal “cruise route” and showed her what to do. Jumping is harder to teach than I realized. I can't say she is an expert after this activity but I can say we had lots of fun and I am sure we will do it again. Sorry for the gratuitous diaper shots…we're sizing out of those jeans I guess. Oops.
Infant Shaving Cream Bag on DIY Light Box
I have enjoyed including Little Big Man in these color explorations to the extent that we can and this week Little Big Man was around for the Shaving Cream Bag. We brought it over to the light box and taped it down so of course he promptly ripped it off. But it was cool seeing him look at the colors as I squished it in front of him. He squished too but didn't look as much. Too bad you can hardly see the red in the picture…and he was wearing his St. Pat's Day pajamas…but I promise we were looking at red! 
Making Rudolph's Nose So Bright
Here is a parenting tip I learned this year: toddlers don't care that certain songs are no longer in season. We are still in love with Rudolph around here and I figure we'd embrace it with this red theme. We often do “art projects” where I cut out free hand shapes from construction paper to make up various characters (usually I look at a picture online to help get the shapes right) and she gets to use glue and put the pieces together. I was way too excited when I thought of this idea to cut out Rudolph's nose to put it on the light table and I already have some other similar art projects in mind! Of course this meant singing the song as well as pretending to be Rudolph and Santa and delivering toys to Little Big Man for a while afterwards. I'm okay with that.
Infant Sensory High Contrast Shapes
I had originally intended to keep the Rudolph activity out just for Ladybug but I ended up holding Little Big Man in my lap for a minute and noticed he was entranced by Rudolph's nose. I remembered how babies are drawn to high contrast black/white/red designs so I thought I'd cut out some basic shapes from black paper and use the red light box. The red of the light box doesn't show up that well in pictures but it is very red. Afterwards I found this infant sensory iPad app posted on pinterest, looks cool! I might try it out!
Looking very forward to coming up with ideas for next weeks color!

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