Ever since teaching Timothy (age 2) about St. Patrick's Day and the different vocabulary that accompanies St. Patrick's Day, he has been obsessed with rainbows.  Even when eating pretzels, he nibbled on it until he made some semblance of an arch and exclaimed, "Mommy rainbow!"  It's really quite cute (or "tute" as he would say).

It got me thinking about colors and how to best teach them.  Timothy picked up on his colors rather quickly, but not every kid does.  If your child is having a hard time learning his colors, then try this technique.

Pick ONE COLOR and focus on that ONE COLOR for a set number of days.  You will know your child best.  If you want to change the color each day, do that.  If you want to have one color each week, do that.  However, focus on that one color.  You don't want to ignore the other colors, but really only be teaching that one color.  So, set a location in the house where you will display what color it is that day/week.  Get excited and your child will get excited too!  Put a piece of construction paper in that location to show the color of the day/week.  You can even write the word out on the construction paper so you are adding print with what your child hears.  Have them pick something out to wear that has that color (if this is too hard, then you choose two shirts and see if your child can find the one that matches the color of the day/week).  Have your child eat a snack that is that color (red = strawberries, orange = goldfish, etc).  Any worksheets or learning activities can be completed with a crayon, marker, or colored pencil that is the color of the week (so much more fun than using a pencil).  When you are running errands, then point out things that you see that are the color of the day/week.  When reading books, then point out things in the pictures that are the color of the day/week.  

When you focus on that one color, then your child won't get overwhelmed with ALL the colors that they see in a day.  If they call the yellow truck a blue truck, then correct them sweetly and say, "Oh I see that truck.  It's yellow.  I like that color", but move on don't get hung up.  We are only expecting them to learn ONE COLOR at a time.  

Also, don't be surprised if your child doesn't learn the color in a week.  That is ok.  Just cycle it through in a few weeks so that they get another go-round of that color. 

Also, we don't expect children to know their colors until age 3.  If your child is younger than 3 and is starting to recognize colors, then he/she is ahead of the game.  If your child is 3 and it's just starting to emerge then he/she is on-track.  If your child is 4 or older, then you will want to make sure to focus on teaching them colors (but don't panic, either).  If you are ever worried about your child's language progress, then always double check by asking your pediatrician or getting a speech therapy evaluation. 
Here is a St. Patrick's Day book from last year!  It's a great little book to get kids involved with St. Patrick's Day!!

Click here to see the blog post and download the pdf file!

I quickly created this little St. Patrick's Day sign to help teach kids some of the vocabulary that centers around Irish Folklore and St. Patrick's Day.

I have some other games and books on my teachers pay teachers store.  A sale is going on now, so check it out!

St. Patrick's Day is not the easiest holiday to teach about.  However, there is LOTS of new vocabulary that you can teach!  How many times a year do you really talk about shamrocks and leprechauns?

In my mind, there are two main things to teach about St. Patrick's Day - the secular version and the religious version.  You may want to pick one over the other or both.  I focus on the religious version, but I also teach the secular version so that my kids understand all aspects of the holiday.

The religious version.  Do you even know who St. Patrick was?  A wikipedia search will give you some good information.  However, the short version is that St. Patrick was a British man who went to Ireland to teach the Irish people about God.  He used the clover (the 3-leaf version) to teach them about the trinity.  When teaching this version you can show pictures of St. Patrick, a map of where England and Ireland are, and teach how the clover can depict the trinity (and who the trinity consists of).

The secular version.  St. Patrick's Day is a day to celebrate Irish culture.  The things surrounding St. Patrick's Day are also symbols of Ireland.  Green is the color that we wear.  Shamrocks (or clovers) are often found in Ireland.  A leprechaun is a man who is part of Irish folklore.  He is typically dressed in green and likes to make mischief.  You can also teach about rainbows and the pot of gold at the end.

Either way, have fun with St. Patrick's Day!!  Check back for some fun St. Patrick's Day learning activities!
Click here for the pdf version of the Journal Entry.  If you are just joining us, then make sure to read Tuesday's blog about counting down using a paper chain and Wednesday's blog about how to create a journal using the paper chain.

Hope you enjoy counting down and creating a journal keepsake!