This is the most comprehensive guide on how to teach colours. (Or colors depending on what part of the world you live in!)
Learning to identify colours can be confusing and difficult for kids. There are lots of colours to learn and different shades don’t make it easy.
This is why I’ve put together a guide for teaching colours to toddlers.
You’ll learn ways to introduce colours to your infant, which ones you should start with first. As well as the stages and milestones your child will reach and when.
Why Is It Important For Toddlers to Learn Colours?
Colours are all around us.
Recognising and identifying them is an important part of kids development.
Learning colour names helps them to describe the world around them. Which means they can verbally communicate better with others.
Recognising colours is also useful for health and safety. For example, knowing the difference between the red and blue tap could save them from a burn.
I had so many questions:
- Is 18 months old (almost) too young to teach my toddler colours?
- When should a toddler know their colours?
- How do you introduce colours to infants?
Ages and Stages Of Learning Colours
Let’s first talk about the actual colours you should teach.
The 11 basic colours kids should learn are:
Red, blue, yellow, green, orange, pink, purple.,black, white, brown, grey/gray
Note: Brown and grey are the hardest colours to learn. So it may take a while before your little one is able to identify them.
When Should a Toddler Know Their Colours?
Infants are developmentally ready to learn the concept of colours at 18 months old. But all kids are different, so there’s no harm in trying before this if you feel they’re ready.
Stage 1 (18 Months Old) – Say Colour Names
Stage 2 (2 Years Old) – Matching and Sorting
Matching and Sorting objects according to their colour is something they’ll be able to do at around 2 years old.
Stage 3 (3 Years Old) – Recognise and Name 9 Basic Colours
From 3 years old, your toddler will know 9 of the basic colours. These are: red, yellow, blue, green, orange, pink, purple, black and white.
Stage 4 (4 Years Old or Earlier) Recognise the Last 2 Basic Colours
Brown and grey are the hardest colours to learn. Some kids learn these quickly after they’ve learnt the first 9 colours. Others take up to 9 months or until they are 4 years old before they can name all 11 basic colours.
How Do You Introduce Colours to Toddlers?
Have you ever looked in kids books and wondered why you always see grapes for the colour purple? Or strawberries for the colour red?
It’s because kids from a young age learn to associate colours with particular objects. So this helps their learning.
Naming the Colours Of Everyday Objects Is A Simple Way to Start
So start by using colours in your everyday activities with your infant. For example, if they point to a banana, name it first – “It’s a banana.” Then add the colour in – “A yellow banana.”
Continue to do this with other food and a variety of objects.
Don’t forget to encourage them to repeat the words.
Remember to start with a couple of basic colours first – red, yellow or blue. Then move onto the secondary colours – orange, green, etc.
Infants will lose interest if this is the only way you introduce colours to them. So here are some other fun activities and things you can do to help them too.
Then Move on to Matching and Sorting
Play Games Where They Have to Identify Colours
- Name objects the wrong colour and see if they notice
- Play I-spy. For example, I spy with my little eye something with the colour… red.
- Create a scavenger hunt around your house. Show your toddler a colour card and have them find an item of that colour.
- Play snap. Print off 2 sets (or more) and play snap. Make it harder by getting faster each time. Remember to ask your child to name the colours.