Sugar Aunts: Elmer the Elephant Color Learning Visual Perceptual Activity

Elmer the Elephant Color Learning Visual Perceptual Activity

What a fun series this has been!  We've been loving the Preschool Book Club and all of the fun ideas being shared each week.  This week's book is one of our absolute favorites.  We LOVE Elmer the Elephant...and all of the Elmer books.  Every time we go to the library, we are sure to check the shelf for a new Elmer book that we may have missed.
This week's activity was so much fun to do with the kids.  They loved creating and building our very own Elmer.  I loved throwing in the scissor work portion of the activity and working on a few important skills.  Baby Girl worked on her color identification and sorting.  The colors in Elmer's patchwork skin are perfect for Toddlers to practice naming colors.  Little Guy was loving the puzzle-building portion of our activity.  The lines were a great way to work on a few visual perceptual skills needed for handwriting.

Elmer the Elephant Color Learning Activity

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If you haven't read Elmer by David McKee, this is definitely a book you need to check out.  Elmer is a patchwork elephant with many colors.  We made our own patchwork elephant with lots of colors and had a great time building and creating while talking about color names.  This was such a great activity for both Little Guy and Baby Girl.

We started with Foam Sheets in lots of different colors.  You might have seen our color sorting scissor activity post where we practiced our scissor skills.  These squares came in handy for this Elmer activity.

I found a picture frame at the Dollar Store that has an acrylic front, instead of glass.  This is a great writing surface using a white board marker.  I drew an outline of Elmer with the marker.  We had a little bowl of water and started sticking the foam squares onto the surface to build our Elmer.  When the foam pieces are dunked into water, they stick really well to the picture frame surface.  We did a version of this way back when our blog began with our rainbow building activity. 


Visual Perception Activity for Kids

There were fingers everywhere, adding patchwork squares!  Little Guy and I quizzed Baby Girl on her colors as we worked.  It was a fun puzzle to get the squares fitting into the outline.  What a great way to work on line awareness!

Visual perceptual skills in kids are necessary for so many things...from self-care to fine motor skills, to gross motor skills...all parts of a child's development require visual perception.  There are many pieces to the giant term of "visual perception".  This Elmer building activity works on quite a few of these areas:

Visual Discrimination is determining differences in color, form, size, shape...Finding different sized squares to fit into the outline of our Elmer, discriminating the different colors, and shapes are a great way to work on this area. 

Visual Closure is the ability to fill in parts of a form in the mind's eye to determine shape or a whole object.  Filling in the missing parts of our Elmer works on this area.

Visual Spatial Relations is organizing the body in relation to objects or spatial awareness.  This is an important part of handwriting.  Spacing those pieces amongst the others and in relation to the lines is one way to work on this skill.

Visual Figure Ground is the ability to locate objects within a cluttered area (think "I Spy").  Finding a red square among the pile of foam pieces is one fun way to work on this area of visual perception.
Little Guy was really into this activity.  He loved lining up the squares to make our Elmer.

We loved how our Elmer turned out!  We'll be using our frame again, soon.  I can think of so many fun ways to learn and play with this dollar store frame and a marker!

Stop by the other blogger's in the Preschool Book Club to see how they are playing and creating with the Elmer book:

Mama. Papa. Bubba. Patchwork Canvas Bag
Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails Elephant Stick Puppets
Buggy and Buddy Sponge Painting Elmer

More Elmer books that we LOVE:

Check out our other posts in the Preschool Book Club Series for activities based on favorite books:



  1. This is such a creative idea! It looks like a lot of fun too:)

  2. I absolutely love this! So cute!!


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