Do you know that your child will remember anything that is correctly associated, anything outstanding, and anything that is appropriately repeated. This wonderful information is from Tony Buzan's book, Brain Child, one of my all time favourite parenting books. Tony Buzan calls a baby's brain, "a gigantic association machine". Another great bit of information to know about, is that memory is enhanced by the more senses that are involved.
Now the idea behind buckets of colour, was to create a fun memory and association with each colour represented. I prepared all the buckets ahead of time and included items such as balloons, play dough, finger paint, bubbles, whistles, threading toys, plastic animals, stickers, bean bags and sweeties. Originally the plan was to have only small things in each bucket, so that I could close the bucket and take it along anywhere if I wanted to. Truthfully though, I added bigger things, like a flute and real fruit, which obviously didn't fit into the buckets.
I must say that these buckets became so much more than just colour fun. There was counting (3 little green frogs); numeracy (cutting the play food in half); imaginative play (play dough snakes eating the play food); fine motor skills (using the stickers and threading); body parts (sticking the stickers on body parts); gross motor activities with balloon and bean bag fun; sensory play (painting, smelling play dough, eating ice cream); language enrichment ("lets decorate our bucket with the stickers"); and, identifying shapes. For the colour "green", for example, we took our green bucket outside and had a "green" picnic on the grass. We sat on our green picnic blanket, ate a green apple and played with our green toys!