Now that Nora is officially 1-year-old, I'm going to introduce the names of colors. Soon, I'll begin more structured trays with her, but I wanted to start with something familiar for her -- a treasure basket.
The basket contains 6 tiny hard plastic jars -- each a rainbow color. Instead of using water to fill the jars, I used dish soap and food coloring. The jars are originally meant to mix small amounts of paint. After mixing each color, I glued on the top. This ensures they are safe and that there are no accidental messes.
The soap holds the dye very nicely, but coats the sides so the jar has some color of it is turned upside down. It also makes less noise this way, so the jars don't become about exploring the sound. Also, when shaken, little bubbles are formed which add visual interest without changing the color.
So far, I've placed them in a basket altogether for Nora to use. She has enjoyed looking at them, shaking, mouthing and playing. The grooves in the top of the bottles also allow them to be stacked and I've seen her exploring that. I've also seen them lined up in rainbow order, so I know Henry must be enjoying them as well!