Are you renovating your house? Or maybe you happened to be doing your Spring cleaning and found some paint sample cards just lying around your home. Even if you don’t, you can easily make a trip to your local Home Depot and grab some adorable paint card samples for free. There are so many ways to recycle these beautiful pieces of papers. For example, these can be used as book marks, frameable art works or just simply as a tool for teaching toddlers some readiness skills. The Montessori inspired and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) ideas listed below are easy and fun activities that moms or preschool teachers can utilize to illustrate colors, shapes and letters to kids.

Recycle Paint Card Samples

1. Introduce the shades of colors

Have you seen the Montessori Color Tablets? Aren’t they adorable?! But they are a bit pricey as well. With the use of paint sample cards and craft sticks, you can easily DIY this wonderful toy. There are great ways to use these DIY color tablets such as introducing the concepts of “darker” and “lighter” shades of colors. This can also be utilized for color matching games using animals or vehicle toys.

2. Shapes and "Day/ Night" concepts

Cut out different shapes from the paint card samples and let your toddlers identify them. Moreover, you can create some drawings that can be matched with the shapes such as square and triangle to make a house. Additionally, try to introduce “day and night” concepts to your kids by exchanging sun (circle) with moon (crescent) and star. My inspiration for this idea came from Melissa and Doug Begginer Wooden Pattern Block.

3. Uppercase and lowercase letters

Research (Worder & Boetcher, 1990) suggests that young kids usually recognise more upper case letters than lower case. But this shouldn’t stop educators or parents to teach lowercase at an early age as well. Reiterate lowecase and uppercase alphabets with the use of paint sample cards while reading your child’s favorite book.

4. Math concepts - shapes and big/small

How about using paint sample cards as a Tangram? Show to your kids that a square can be made up of 4 triangles while counting the triangles one by one. You can also introduce a “harder” shape to your toddler such as the six-sided hexagon which can also be comprised of six triangles. Additionally, you can also help your toddlers to compare big vs small objects such as a house with the use of these cards.

5. Fine Motor Skills

There are so many fun and simple ways to support kids in developing fine motor skills. Before you throw out the paint card samples, cut them first into smaller pieces. Create some slots in any unused box or container, big enough to accomodate the pieces of cards. Finally, let your kids insert the cut out cards into the holes.

Okay, that is it for now. Let me know if you have more ideas on how to reuse these beautiful pieces of papers!

Till next time,



Toddler steam


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