This easy kids craft helps promote color recognition, sorting, and fine motor skills. Plus, it’s easy to replicate with a glue stick, construction paper, and my free printable traffic light template below!
I admit that this was not an original idea. I saw several of these on Pinterest and decided to try this with my toddler. She loves play with the glue stick, and we just started working on color recognition.
- Glue Stick
- Construction Paper (red, yellow, green)
- Free Printable Traffic Light Template (click here to open the PDF in a new window)
- Tear the red, yellow, and green paper into small pieces.
- Mix the paper together.
- Help your child sort the paper and glue pieces in the corresponding circles.
In practice, this craft worked pretty well with my 18 month old. She had a lot of fun ripping the paper into pieces and mixing it together. A lot of it ended up thrown about the floor, but it’s an easy mess to clean up (and she “helped” pick up).
As I said before, she’s just starting to learn her colors, so I had to help guide her along. When we started this activity, I’d pick up a piece of paper and say, “This is red. The red paper goes in the red circle. Can you put some glue here?” I’d point to the red circle, she’d dab glue in it, around it, on the table, and I’d put the paper in the circle.
Although I did most of the craft in the beginning, she did get the hang of it after a while. At that point, I took the glue stick, smeared glue on the green paper, gave her the paper and asked, “Where does the green paper go? That’s right, in the green circle! Nice job!”
It’s important to note that doing this craft with a young toddler took some patience. She’s easily distracted, so we took a lot of play breaks and just bounced back and forth from the craft table to her toy area most of the afternoon. When not in use, I kept the glue stick in my pocket lest she choke on the cap, eat the contents, or smear glue all over the furniture.
All in all, I really liked this craft idea. It works well for boys and girls. Plus, it bolsters fine motor skills, color recognition, and sorting skills.
For older kids, caregivers could take this craft a step further and play a game with their finished traffic light. Have the kids pretend to drive around, while someone holds the traffic light. The person holding the traffic light is in charge of how fast or slow the others can “drive.”
So traffic light holder may call out “Green,” and everyone can pretend to drive around quickly. Similarly, calling out “Yellow” means slow down and “Red” means stop.
This traffic light game is great at teaching kids listening skills, so it’s extra beneficial if their caregiver acts as the traffic light. Kids learn to recognize their caregiver’s voice and follow commands.