I've saved Israel's favorite "school" for last. He has LOVED learning about colors. You can find my other "Homeschooling with a toddler in tow" posts here: ABCs and Fishing for ABCs and 123s.
Matching colors- Because my toddler only knew a few color names to begin with I wanted to get him acquainted with them at a most basic level first. If you start where you know they will succeed, they will feel very accomplished! So I picked a marker of each color and scribbled with it on the paper. He then had to match the marker to the color and draw with that color on the paper.
Fruits and Veggies- We talked about how we like to eat fruits and veggies of all different colors. Then I drew the outline of a strawberry with red, banana with yellow, broccoli with green, watermelon with pink... etc. etc. He started naming off the fruits that were different colors and handing me the crayons. Then he got to color each one in with the right color. We talked about the color names the whole time. At the end I asked what color the apple was, etc, etc. He got a surprising number right.
He wanted to do these two things over and over again every day for a while. I outlined the fruits with a pencil the next times and had him fill in the right colors on his own.
Rainbow- Outline a rainbow with all the colors and your toddler can fill in the stripes.
A word on this whole schooling toddlers thing. Let it be known that I DON'T push my toddler to learn. Israel wanted to scribble with a pencil over his rainbow. That was fine. He was 2. I talked to a girlfriend about what I do with preschoolers a few months ago. The truth is, I instill love of learning. I don't discipline them to sit and learn. There's plenty of discipline in his life, trust me! Just not about schooling. These activities are optional in our house until they get to be around 5 years old... or depending on the child. I don't really think that Israel will be reading and counting very soon because I'm teaching him these things earlier. But I do think that he'll read and count sooner because we LOVE learning and when he does get to the age where he has a capacity to read he will... most likely... eagerly read. And hopefully he will enjoy reading and learning his whole life. Also, I see his attention span getting longer and I don't think he'll have the trouble Drew did at first with not being accustomed to a little more structure in schooling.
Another word... on materials this time. I love seeing how resourceful my kids have become because they see me whip out a blank piece of paper and create a lesson rather than spending a lot of money at the teacher's resource store on fancy charts and books and whatever else. They tend to use what's around them now. Drew just the other day when she was looking at buying a paper quilling kit told me... "I bet we could make a tool like that easily. And I could cut paper myself!" That girl is just a wee bit like her mother! It's scary at times. I'm almost certain she can see what I'm thinking.
Another fun thing to do with colors is to feature a color a day. Early on, when one of the only colors Israel knew was green, I did green as a feature color and pointed out green things and revisited that one when asking him what color something was. I saved yellow for at least a few days later, as he was least familiar with it.
A hunt around the house is very fun as well. You can have your toddler find items in the feature color of the day and put them in a pile.