15 Colorful Ways to Enhance Your Toddler's Development

Colorful Crayon RainbowHave I mentioned how much my toddler loves to color? She can entertain herself for hours with a handful of crayons and a thick stack of paper.

Ok, minutes…but they feel like hours.

(I’m just happy if it buys me a solo bathroom break.)

Anyway, this child is all about the coloring. So what does she draw?

Babies. Flowers. The occasional butterfly.

But more than anything else, my daughter draws rainbows.

Big rainbows, small rainbows. Rainbows that arch and rainbows as flat as the day is long.

While she may not yet grasp the concept ROYGBIV, one thing’s for sure: the girl loves rainbows.

We’ve started using the rainbow as a basis for a variety of toddler-appropriate activities from counting to learning the alphabet. Just like with older kids, learning is more fun if they’re able to incorporate what they’re most interested in, and in her case, rainbows are the perfect vehicle for all kinds of critical developmental tasks.

I’ve rounded up a 15 of my favorite rainbow-inspired finds. I hope you and your kiddo love them too.

  • Matching Hearts 1 of 15
    Matching Hearts
    Matching games are great for enhancing your toddler's memory, social, and language skills. Encouraging your child to match colors, shapes, and objects also builds fine motor skills.
    Photo Credit: Daisy Brains/Etsy
  • Rainbow Stacking Toy 2 of 15
    Rainbow Stacking Toy
    My daughter would love to play with this all-wood rainbow stacking toy. Simple puzzles like this are a great way to build her problem-solving skills.
    Photo Credit: made4munchkins/Etsy
  • Rainbow Crayon Set 3 of 15
    Rainbow Crayon Set
    I love the detailed shapes in this coloring set. Besides basic coloring, we could use these crayons to draw simple pictures using the letters and colors represented in individual crayons. Fun and educational!
    Photo Credit: The Scatter Box/Etsy
  • Colorful Family 4 of 15
    Colorful Family
    How cute is this set of little wooden people? This toy would be a great tool for exploring feelings and modeling appropriate social behavior.
    Photo Credit: Mama Mayl/Etsy
  • Sort and Scoop 5 of 15
    Sort and Scoop
    This is another great tool for building those critical fine motor skills.
    Photo Credit: Bumble Fly and Butter Bees/Etsy
  • Rainbow Toadstools 6 of 15
    Rainbow Toadstools
    This fun set of wooden toadstools could be used as a stacking toy, for counting, color recognition, or so many other important toddler tasks!
    Photo Credit: Bright Life Toys/Etsy
  • Alphabet Set 7 of 15
    Alphabet Set
    This colorful fabric alphabet set is a great way to introduce letters to your toddler.
    Photo Credit: So Sew Lovely/Etsy
  • Bean Bag Toss 8 of 15
    Bean Bag Toss
    This is a fun tool for enhancing number and color recognition. We love toys that get our kids moving and burning off some of that famous toddler energy!
    Photo Credit: AB Shoppe/Etsy
  • Lacing Beads 9 of 15
    Lacing Beads
    These rainbow lacing beads are wonderful for building those fine motor skills.
    Photo Credit: Mama Mayl/Etsy
  • Balancing Birdies 10 of 15
    Balancing Birdies
    By now you know that I love birds, and this set of wooden balancing toys is no exception! My daughter would love working on balancing these little beauties.
    Photo Credit: Mama Mayl/Etsy
  • Rainbow Play Silks 11 of 15
    Rainbow Play Silks
    If your toddler is anything like mine, he or she loves music and dancing. These rainbow play silks would be a fun addition to any toddler dance party!
    Photo Credit: Beneath the Rowan Tree/Etsy
  • Ribbon Rings 12 of 15
    Ribbon Rings
    Ribbon rings are fun for indoor or outdoor play. I know that my daughter would love to dance and twirl with these gorgeous rainbow ribbons.
    Photo Credit: Green Baboon Designs/Etsy
  • Rainbow Play Dough 13 of 15
    Rainbow Play Dough
    Play Dough like this is so easy to make and great for toddler fun!
    Photo Credit: KT and the Squid/Etsy
  • Retro Ironing Play Set 14 of 15
    Retro Ironing Play Set
    This retro ironing set with rainbow clothespins would be an adorable and fun addition to any toddler's play room.
    Photo Credit: Pretty Dreamer/Etsy
  • Rainbow Forest 15 of 15
    Rainbow Forest
    Toys like this fabric rainbow forest set enhance imaginary play. I think these are so fun...and so would my daughter!
    Photo Credit: Quietude Quilts/Etsy

Top Photo Credit: Flickr

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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