Colour recognition plays a vital role in developing a child’s cognitive ability. For a child to possess the ability to view the world in all its beauty, it is crucial for a child to have knowledge of the names and looks of colours.
When to start teaching colours to kids?
Most children start differentiating colours by the time they turn 2 years of age and by the age of 3 or 4, they are able to name different colours. At this age, the best approach for kids to learn colours is by experiencing them and playing with them. By pointing out various items in their surroundings, whether indoors or outdoors, you can teach children about colours.
Teaching children about colours is not as difficult as you might think because kids are naturally inclined towards anything colourful.
What are the benefits of teaching colours to children?
(i) Colour recognition helps in developing creative skills.
(ii) It allows the child to associate objects with its colours, for example – apple with red, peas with green, etc.
(iii) Knowing the names of colours improves their vocabulary. The more colours a child knows and identifies, the better they can express themselves and describe the world around them.
(iv) Learning about colours, working with it and helping to differentiate between similar colours can enhance your child’s logical abilities.
How to teach colours to kid?
For grown-ups, colours are an obvious part of our life but for a child, to learn the name of colours and be able to recognize them may be a little challenging.
Understand your child’s pace and teach accordingly
It’s easier for a child to spot the difference between two shapes than to recognise or differentiate between two colours. It is encouraged to start teaching colours at a young age but do not rush things. They won’t be learning colours overnight so be patient and maintain a regular slow pace when introducing colours.
Understand your child’s mindset
For children, learning colours can be quite confusing. They struggle to understand the differences between different versions of the same colour such as red and maroon or that dark blue is not the same as black. This confusion is understandable. Teaching your kids, the correct names and differences between colours might require some practice. Once your child starts noticing you calling out different colours or associating certain things with specific colours, they will learn to do the same. Usually, a child gets better at understanding the various shades of colour by the age of five.
The capability to understand colours may vary from child to child regardless of their age so to make things simpler and easier for your child, plan activities based on their understanding level.
Start with primary colours
When teaching something new, you always have to start with the basics. Children mostly prefer bright and pastel colours so teaching primary colours would be a start. Primary colours are – red, yellow and blue. Thereafter, you can teach secondary colours – purple, green and orange. Once they start identifying these colours, you can move on to slightly complex colours like brown, grey, black & white, etc.
Introduce one colour at a time
Introduce only one or two colours at a time and focus on them until they are able to identify them correctly. Give them adequate time to master one colour before you move on to another. You can focus on two colours as well for drawing comparison between them. If there are enough examples of things that are not red, it will be simpler for children to comprehend the colour red.
Colour identification vs Pronunciation
Initially, there’s a possibility that a child can identify the colour without being able to say the name of the colour and it may also be the case where a child recognises the colour but pronounces it incorrectly. Both these scenarios are signs of progress.
The aim is to make your child recognise colours, not saying the correct pronunciations. So, it’s alright if your child says “boo” instead of “blue”. You can correct them a few times now and then but avoid putting much emphasis on it. Gradually, they will learn the correct pronunciations of all the colours.
Identical objects, different colours
The main objective is to recognise different colours so it is best if you used identical objects while teaching. For example, you should use a red ball and a green ball of the same size to help your child differentiate between the two colours. By doing this, you limit any additional distinctions between the objects you’re asking your kid to compare.
Indulge in simple memorization activities
To help your kids remember the colours, indulge them in simple tests from time to time. For instance, gather few of your child’s colourful toys and ask them to find the blue car or a red ball, etc. When they get it right, show them how proud you are and be excited for them. On the other hand, if they get it wrong, don’t show disappointment as it might discourage them. Instead, you can point at the correct coloured toy and later on, you can show the same-coloured toy and ask them again what colour it is. Sometimes, kids get confused when they are presented with different objects at the same time and that is normal.
To make the learning process more fun, you can try activating your child’s senses like touch, smell, hear, etc. Being able to interact with the learning tools is a fun way to learn colours, memorise them and also helps in building an association between object and colour.
For example, using orange fruit to teach the colour orange or a broccoli to teach green, etc. This activity not only makes it simple to learn the colours but it is also a good way to familiarise kids with different tastes, shapes, etc.
Are there any fun activities to make learning easy for kids?
Yes! Not only easy but super fun as well. We have compiled a list of enjoyable activities for you so have a look –
- I Spy
I Spy is quite a well-known kid’s game. The best part is you can play it anywhere – at home, in the market or while driving. For instance, while at home, you can start the game with your child by saying “I spy with my little eye, something that is yellow”, then you point at the banana and ask your child “what can you spy that is yellow?”
- Find the colour
(i) Collect toys – instruct your child to pick toys of a specific colour. For example, ask them to pick up a red car or blue ball.
(ii) Fruits & vegetables – arrange a few fruits and vegetables in front of your child and then ask them to lift something green or something yellow. You can let them taste fruit to make the activity more interactive.
(iii) Coloured eggs – it would be fun to add food colouring to their boiled eggs. Place them in front of them and ask them to pick a blue egg or a red egg, etc.
(iv) Matching socks – use single-coloured socks while playing this. Pick a few different coloured pair of socks. Put them in a box. Select one sock and ask your child to find the other one from the box to complete the pair.
(v) Colour with crayons – find a blank page and one or two crayons. Say the name of the colour, let your child choose the right one and doodle with it on the page.
(vi) Paintballs – kids love to be messy. Gather different coloured paintballs, let your child pick any ball and ask them to say the name of the colour and then throw it. If they get it right, that’s great and if they don’t, it’s still fine.
When focusing on one or two colours, play-dough is a nice way for kids to identify and differentiate colours. You can make certain shapes from it, for example, making an apple by using red colour. It helps them associating colour with that object.
- Using printables
You can use printables of numbers or alphabets as a colouring activity. Allow your child to choose a crayon and ask them what colour it is and let them colour the printables.
- Colour days
You can assign one colour to each day of the week, like red is for Mondays, yellow for Tuesdays, etc. On those days, indulge your kids with activities focusing on the colour of the day.
- Sorting and grouping
When your child is able to identify and distinguish between colours, you can play the sorting game. Get a box with different sections and label what colour item you want your child to put in each section. From a container full of different coloured buttons/beads, let your child sort and group those items by putting them in the correct section.