Saturday, January 22, 2011



Im going to be quite honest with everyone on this activity. It took me 2 days to put this activity together.
It took so many steps to put it together that I want to share what I did to accomplish this project.

First: I had collected quite a few "free paint chips" from Walmart and Lowes. Everytime I went in the store, I quickly went and gathered several colors and was on my way. Usually, I purchase a small plastic container of some kind, to put them in while I am gathering them at the store, so they make a sale and I am getting a useful activity out of the whole process (in the works). So for 1.00 I got a storage bin and many paint chips.

Second: I had this activity in my thoughts for several weeks and I had to consider how big to make it, how many clothes pins I would use, how many paint chips I would use, what kind of set up would I attach it to to make it successful for the children. Which colors I would use because if they were to much alike, it would be a challenge for the children to sort out and I wanted them to be successful and not give up.

Third: How I would present this to the children and store it. So, I started working on sorting colors out, chips in piles of BLUE, RED, PINK, YELLOW, BROWN, GREEN. Then after that I discovered that I had 5 and 10 of each color (to make sure I had enough for projects). So I pulled out about 10 samples of each color and cut them down to a strip for the clothes pin and a strip for the container that I chose to match 2.

Fourth: Now I am ready to attach the paint chip strips to the clothes pins. When I put school glue on the clothes pin and attached the paint chip shape, the shape would slide down off of the clothes pin. So, I quickly shifted to a hot glue and glue sticks. Attached them and they stayed perfectly. Infact, once you put it on, you don't have much room to move it if its slanted, so you really have to get it right the first time.

Fifth: I wanted a sturdy structure because I wanted it to last. With the clothes pins pinching off and on and off and on, it may not take to long before the paint chips on the base would wear at the tips. So, I took this large box and went around the edges on the outside with cut down craft sticks, used hot glue to attach sideways working my way around the whole box from top to bottom. It took approx. 25 extra large craft sticks to complete this on the outside. Then I double lined it with thin cardboard and thick sturdy cardboard on the inside. Not to thick so the clothes pins would pinch on without having to open to large. The children can only pinch the clothes pin open so far.

Sixth: I then lined the inside with textured foam from the meat departments of the stores. I washed them and saved them. Since they had thick textures on some of the foam, I thought it would be good to add that extra sensory touch so when they reach in to take out a clothes pin to pinch, they would feel the texture on the foundation for added stimulation. I would hope they would notice and comment when this activity is chose and used. I also lined the insides half way up to keep the container soft but sturdy. I chose texture over beauty and function over beauty on the inside of this manipulative.

Seven: Finishing the clothes pins with the colors all glued on with hot glue, I went around the box base outside and attached with hot glue, the equal color chips in progression. In my thoughts they came out the way I would use them. I don't know if there is a certain way to place these in "Montessori Teachings" but this is how ours turned out and I just really like the color progression. Attaching all the base colors, I then, did a "mod podge" covering on the clothes pins and the color strips on the base. I added around 6 layers on the base each side and 1 layer to the clothes pins.

And this is my finished product.

My thoughts, I don't know if I would make a set this large again. It was a challenge for me and a challenge for a fourth grader to keep turning the box to find the right colors. I would probably put clothes pins and box out on one side at a time during my tray work times, to make it "not so frusterating" for a child. But, once they master it, It will be one of their favorites.

If you like this project let me know in a comment. I love sharing and being share with.



I like!

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