Learning with Colored Straws

Hi, My name is Nicola and you can usually find me over at http://www.multicraftingmummy.com. My blog is full of ideas for arts, crafts and messy play activities for children aged 2-7 to do together. When my two sons are in school, I also like to tackle hands-on learning activities with my 3 year old daughter. Today I am delighted to be sharing a series of learning activities ideal for toddlers, using coloured straws to work on colour recognition, scooping and pouring and making basic shapes.

Learning with Colored Straws

Straws are a very handy material to have in your learning and crafting supplies, as they can be used for so many fun activities. We put ours to good use in this Rainy Day Bubble Blowing activity recently (this project took bubble painting to a whole new level!). I have also been using a packet of coloured straws with Bella, my 3 year old daughter, in a series of learning activities.

Colour Recognition

I cut up a selection of red, yellow, blue and green straws into pieces around 4 cm long and 4 matching coloured discs of paper. I laid the coloured discs out on the table and put the pile of mixed up coloured straws in front of my toddler.

I began the activity asking her what colours the pieces of straws were that I was pointing too. She did very well with this. I then asked her to take each piece of straw and match it up to the corresponding coloured disc of paper. All the time I was talking to her and asking her questions about the colours of the straws that she was handling. I didn’t pull her up too much when she got the odd one wrong, as I didn’t want to discourage her at this stage. I gave lots of praise when she matched the straws up correctly and then gently corrected her when she got one of them mixed up.

Making Shapes

We then used the pieces of straws to make some basic shapes. We worked together on this all the while talking about the different shapes that we were creating and which were her favourites.

Pour and Scoop

I added in a plastic jug and bowl into our dish of straws for Bella to work on her scooping and pouring skills. She had great fun serving me pretend cups of tea and ice-creams. I was very full by the end of it!

Getting Messy

Bella loves to get messy and playing with shaving foam is one of her favourite messy play ingredients. To incorporate her love of getting messy with a fine motor skills activity we used the coloured straws again but this time added in shaving foam and gold coins. Unfortunately she quickly abandoned the tweezers and just got stuck in with her hands, but that’s doing activities with toddlers for you!

More activity ideas for rainbow straws:

-Help your child to make their name with them.
-Work on colour sequencing making different patterns with them.
-Create some art work with them.

What other ideas can you add?

If you enjoyed this post you might like to pop over and read Sensory Soup and Fine Motor Fishing.

Meet Nicola:
Nicola enjoyed a successful career as a Librarian in the media and legal sectors before settling down to life as a stay at home mum to Liam 7, Freddie 5 and Bella 3. They live by the sea in Ireland and enjoy doing arts and crafts, almost as part of their daily routines. You can follow her on her blog, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.


Viviana is a blogging mom to a toddler and a preschooler, sharing ideas and resources for early education. She specializes in unique, hands-on printable activities that are educational, fun and inspire creativity in young minds.

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