Children begin identifying colours around the 18-month mark, and start learning the names of different colours between two to three years of age. Teaching your child about colour isn’t as simple as saying, “This apple is red” or “The sky is blue”. For a young mind to understand a concept as abstract as colour, requires them to be exposed to plenty of information that’ll help them distinguish colour from other variables like shape, size and texture. It is a lengthy process that requires much emphasis on a daily basis.
Ready to introduce your little one to the gorgeous colours of the rainbow but not sure where to begin? Here are some everyday tips and tricks to help your kiddo learn the names of every shade.
#1 Make use of snack time
Use food and snacks to encourage bubba to learn about colours. Set a plate of assorted fruits, veggies, crackers or even candy and ask your little one to sort ‘em out according to its colours. It’s a fun game with a delicious reward at the end!
#2 Ignite their sartorial senses
Your little one may be showing interest in picking out their own outfit, so include them (and a lesson in colours!) in the process. Apart from asking the child to pick out their outfit based on colours, parents can ask questions such as, “What colour are these pants?” or “Are these shirts of the same colour?” Or on laundry day, ask your little one for help to “match the socks” or “sort out all the blue clothes together.”
#3 Compare identical objects
Because toddlers are still adding new words to their vocabulary, keep the learning process as simple as possible by using identical objects in different colours and shades. It’ll be easier for them to observe colour differences when there aren’t any other variables to confuse or distract.
#4 Get detailed
Reinforce colour concepts by getting extra detailed. For example, “This is a ball, it is green in colour”, or “Here is your shirt, its colour is blue!”
#5 Emphasise one colour each week
Don’t get overexcited when introducing your child to different colours. A fun way to encourage your little one’s understanding of individual colours would be to set up a colour week, where that entire span of time would be to dedicated to a specific colour. For example, during Yellow week, your child will pick out outfits only in yellow, or munch on banana-hued snacks, and play with minion-coloured toys. As experiential learners, the little ones will benefit greatly from being able to explore colours through their senses.
#6 Make it fun
Whether it’s playing iSpy or singing about the colours of the rainbow, there are plenty of on-the-spot activities you can engage in without much preparation. Even a trip to the grocery store can be turned into a learning experience (red tomatoes and yellow lemons anyone?)