Thursday, April 28, 2011

Real Montessori - Color Tablets

In the Montessori program (more about how we got started here), colors are introduced using color tablets.  You start by teaching the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and then move out to the secondary colors, and then you can move on to teaching different shades of each color.

If we were in a school, we'd buy gorgeous color tablets set into wood rectangles.  But those are pretty expensive.  Luckily for us, the curriculum showed us how to make our own!

We went to Michaels and got a big pack of embroidery floss holders.  As an added bonus they came on the great ring which is nice for organization.  We'll definitely use all of these by the time we've made 2 of each main color and then all the shades too.  I originally thought they felt a bit small for the task, but after using them, they're just right.

For the actual colors I hit up the local Home Depot paint department and got paint chips for each color I wanted.  Then I went berserk with a square punch that I got from Creative Memories a long time ago when I was scrapbooking 24/7.

I started out making the squares before I got the floss holders (aka floss bobbins), so I made them too big.  The right square ended up being 1".

Then I hot glued the squares to the floss bobbins, and let the learning commence. :)

There is a typical way of presenting colors, which I did with Bella, though she doesn't seem to do great with the straight up presentation.  So we also play a game with them.  Right now we're still just working with the primary colors, so we have 6 tablets, 2 of each of the 3 primary colors.  We turn them all over so she can't see what color is underneath and then she picks them up, names the color and gets to put it back in the bowl.

Hopefully then we can work up to a matching memory game too.

Bella seems to like messing with me though, which is why we're still on the primary colors.  I've seen her do the colors correctly so many times, and then sometimes for no reason at all she decides to call the red tablet, "pink." Always "pink."  Drives me nuts.  Oh well, that's real life :)

Here is Bella demonstrating (and you get to see all of her goof-off glory):

She does sometimes get very focused on a task and gets into the "Montessori zone," as I've heard it called.  But with Daddy watching and Mommy filming, it just wasn't happening.


  1. These are great DIY Montessori color tablets - inexpensive, easy to prepare, and attractive! Thanks for sharing the idea! I featured your post at

  2. I used your idea for the color tablets, and will be linking to your blog later this week!