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A Year of Play: April

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Shared from Zero to Three (zerotothree.org)

Browse fun seasonal activities by month to find play activities that promote your child’s development all year.

You are your child’s favorite toy. There is nothing in the world your child would rather do than play with you! Use the ideas below as a starting point for the many joyful ways there are to explore, play, learn, and discover with your child. (NOTE: We are beginning with the month of April, but check our blog page for new ideas monthly!)

April’s theme is Colors. Try these fun activities to learn colors and to try some new artistic activities:

Talk Together

  • For your baby: Notice the colors that fill your baby’s world. Point out his red hat, the green leaves, and the orange tabby cat. Have a snack of yellow bananas, red strawberries, and purple grapes. Look out into the black night and try to find yellow stars winking in the sky.
  • For your toddler: Once your child knows the names of colors, you can begin to use these words in context: “Can you get your red sneakers?” “Would you like a green apple or a yellow apple for snack?” You can also begin to expand your child’s understanding of color by pointing out the difference between grass green and lime green, lemon yellow and golden yellow. April is the time when color begins to bloom outside with flowers and trees. What colors can your child find in the world around her?

Read Together

  • Read some colorful books. For babies, try Spot Looks at Colors by Eric Hill, the Colors board book by DK Publishing, My Very First Book of Colors by Eric Carle, or Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert. For older toddlers, good choices include Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin, Jr., Frederick by Leo Lionni, What Makes a Rainbow by Betty Ann Schwartz, Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, and My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss.

Play Together

  • For your baby: Make color trays. Take a muffin tray and in each opening place an object that is red, for example. You could place a strawberry, a red teether, a piece of red watermelon, a red mitten or sock, and a red foam ball (make sure it is not a choking hazard). Let your baby touch and play with these objects, but supervise closely since babies this age are likely to “mouth” things they find interesting in order to learn more about them. As you baby plays, you can repeat the word “red”—a red ball, a red strawberry, a red sock. Try making trays of different colored objects.
  • For your toddler: Toddlers love to help out doing “real” jobs around the house. For colors, try a cooking project where make a rainbow snack together. Pick out a range of healthy foods of different colors—yellow bananas, red watermelon, green grapes, blueberries, etc. Let your child choose what to have as his snack and talk about all the different colors he can eat. What does he think is the best-tasting color?
  • For babies and toddlers: Make a color book. Staple together 6 pages of construction paper (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple) to make a book. Write the appropriate color’s name on each page. Let your child color pictures on each page. Cut photos from magazines and have your child glue these pictures on the right color page (e.g., a photo of a red apple goes on the red page). Read your book together—what is her favorite page? An alternative is to take six photos of your child wearing a shirt of each color and gluing them to the appropriate pages.