Learn · Play · Reads

Seeing Red

Nope, I’m not going to start a long post ranting about something that made me angry. I am going to post some activities I did with my 13+ month old, to introduce her to the world of colours, and in this case, the colour red. Now the blog entry title makes sense huh? 😉

Red will be the first colour I’ll formally introduce/teach her (it’s not like her world was black and white before this yea?). And just like any other concept I’ve tried teaching her, it all begins with some picture books. I made a short trip to the library and could only managed to grab 3 colour concept books before a librarian asked me keep an eye on Allie – This girl loves her books and she was happily taking books off the shelves and trying to climb the shelf! *inserts horror face emoticon* Yep, so I strapped her into the carrier (a lot of wailing…) and did some backbreaking unorthodox yoga poses to reach those kid-friendly low shelves. 10 minutes was all I could afford; any longer and I’ll be at the risk of being chased out by the librarians (Allie was not a quiet happy baby in the carrier. She wanted to crawl and explore the library!).

These borrowed books, together with some other picture books I have that teach colours, filled her reading shelves every Monday and Tuesday. Other casual reading picture books are put aside, and are added back to the shelves from Wednesday to Sunday.

I’ll try to stick to a colour a week. Here’s what we did for the colour red:

First up, a red discovery bin filled with all things red. I tried to add things of different sizes, shapes and textures to make it a little more fun to explore. In there are some red felt coasters, bottle caps, a water balloon, some knick knack toy parts, a silicon spatula, a mini gauze gift bag, pipe cleaners, and I made a mini glitter sensory bottle to go along.


It was so fascinating to just see her explore, touch and think!


The water balloon was a hit. She couldn’t stop fiddling and squishing it. She liked it so much she decided to hold on to it with one hand and explore the rest of the discovery box with the other.


Must. Not. Let. Go.

I guess she was trying to make sense of the items in the box. Usually her toy sets are in individual boxes. For example, Duplo Lego are all in one box, flash cards are in another box, and pretend play food items are in a separate one. But this discovery box has a bit of everything! It must have confused her a little in the beginning. She sat there for a good fifteen minutes, taking out every item from the box, fiddling with it, trying to put similar pieces together.


I don’t know if she intended this, but she stuck some pretend play food items with velcro on to the felt coaster! I was impressed! (Of course it could have been a fluke, but this mama’s not giving up on the chance to believe that her kid might actually be a whiz. 😂)

Next up, waterbeads!


I’ve done this activity with Allie when she was much younger and I’m so glad she showed more interest in this now. She still mouths things so the red waterbeads had to go into a ziplock bag and taped down securely to the floor. I added two black waterbeads (her hand is covering one of them.) into the bag too, so she had something to focus on as she observe the movement of the beads.

Later in the day, this sensory bag became a spot for her to practice her stomping. I relocated the bag from the living room to where Allie’s shoes are so she’ll stomp stomp stomp on them before and after putting on her shoes (one of her current favourite activity). This activity lasted the whole week.


In between activities, some reading was done and I tried to emphasize on the colour red. “红”! I’ll exclaim. And she’ll look and me and laugh. I never knew red could be so funny!


(She thought the red balloon stick from her discovery box will make a perfect straw for the oversized Yakult bottle coin bank we had. Ps: bottle was empty.)

We tried to eat more red fruits that week, which included red grapes and her favourite watermelon. We decided to challenge her with a big wedge of watermelon for fun. She ate a good 2/3 of it on her own in one sitting. Amazing! (Let’s skip the part when I had to strip her, wash her watermelon juice soaked romper, bathe her and hose down the detachable high chair table and wipe the sticky chair. Learning can be messy but o so fun!)


And since we’re eating watermelon, why not read about it?


Here’s the book cover if you’re interested. It’s a cute picture book that only uses three colours to illustrate the cute story of a crocodile who swallowed a watermelon seed.


Allie loves this book. We read it often enough for me to memorize the book and for her to get to her bookshelf and retrieve this book when I start reciting parts of the story.

That week, we visited a friend who happened to have lots of cola cans (Chinese New Year’s coming) and she willingly let Allie fiddle and play with them. Red! Red! Red!


It was fascinating to see her do her thing! At first I was worried the cans were too heavy for her to handle. She proved me wrong, and took out at least 15 cans to play. Then she started putting the cans upright and said “uh oh” when the cans fell. Next, she attempted to stack the cans. That to me was a move towards constructive play, which is something Allie hasn’t been very keen on. (She’s great at pulling blocks, toys, puzzles apart but had yet to show interest in piecing them back together.)

Back to the activities! Just one last one. Ziplock bag with red paint in it, taped down to the ground. Simple.


All hands and feet on deck to squish the red paint around!​ I decided not to waste her stomping efforts and cut open the ziplock bag, and made red foot prints with her. Squishy cold paint proved a little too fun for this girl and I had to act quick and wash her feet to save myself from a nightmare clean up.

I’m saving these painted footprints for another activity in future. More on that when the activity is ready!

I can’t wait for orange next week! Till then? Keep stomping away!

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