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Teaching Toddlers About Colors

by Tania Cowling | March 10th, 2014 | Development, Infants/Toddlers

ball pitWe are so used to colors in our world that it takes the excitement of a toddler’s observations to literally “see” these concepts. As parents, it is up to us to present exploration activities and make use of a young child’s limitless curiosity to help them discriminate and identify colors. Plan creative activities into your daily routine. There are so many projects that are simple and use supplies we usually have at home. Surround your toddlers with a world that is excitingly full of colors.

We are a child’s first teacher, so learning takes place everyday at home and with all of our senses. Toddlers learn what is seen, heard, touched, smelled, and tasted during each day’s routines. Here are a few ideas I used with my children and in my Mommy and Me classes  to help you get started.

Make use of walks to visualize, smell, and hear the beauty of nature. Ask your youngsters, “How many kinds of green can you see? Can you find a color that matches your shirt? What about the color of this flower? And, how does it smell?“ Or, go on a color treasure hunt in a room indoors. “I see something blue, do you?” What about the produce department in your supermarket? It’s full of colors. Make use of this beautiful produce and create a rainbow fruit salad at home.

Collect some plastic water bottles and use them to display a colorful rainbow on the windowsill. Let your toddler help you place drops of food coloring into each bottle of water. Together, watch how the color spreads through the water. Be sure to run a line of glue inside the lid before you screw it on the bottle — trust me, you will be happy you did to prevent spills. Visit you rainbow window often and talk about the colors. Point to each bottle, say the color word and ask your toddler to repeat it.

Cover a shoe box with colored construction paper and fill this color box with small objects and toys of the same hue. Invite your toddler to empty and play with these toys reminding him of the color. Explore this box often during the week and emphasize the color. Make several color boxes filling them with an assortment of objects. Interchange theses boxes every few weeks.

Toddlers love anything that is different and exciting. Flashlight play fits the bill, but even better with color. Take a square of colored cellophane and attach it to the head of the flashlight with a rubber band. Let your toddler shine the colored light around the room. You can shine the color on the floor and invite your little one to step into the color. Play with flashlights often and change the cellophane color — it’s simple, toddlers enjoy playing in the light, and now you can teach colors at the same time.

There are many opportunities to teach toddlers about color. Do you have one to share with us? Use the comment section below.

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