View Full Version : Teaching colours

23-06-2016, 06:56 AM
What's the best way to teach colours? Is there any way to speed up the learning of them or does it just happen naturally when kids are ready? Obviously I can point out colours in the environment to help...

23-06-2016, 06:58 AM
Oh and sanctuaries for shapes!!

23-06-2016, 06:58 AM
Oh and sanctuaries for shapes!!

"Same for" not sanctuaries!
It's too early!!

23-06-2016, 09:11 AM
Including colour vocabulary in everyday talk, clothes, toys, food, cars etc..I find is the most effective.
Of course most early games involve colour so that it can be reinforced by shape sorters, jigsaws, take turn games.
Art is also an opportunity to talk about colours.
You can hot house colour learning but why do you need to? It will come as long as everyone is using colour words in everyday language.

23-06-2016, 09:39 AM
Everday language - take every opportunity to drop in the colour name of objects. You could also see if the children can 'match' colours - they can do this without knowing the name of them. They could pair up coloured socks or mittens, or set the table/doll's table by putting the green plate/knives/forks etc together in a place setting and the yellow ones in another etc. Have a look around your environment and see if you can naturally build in some colour matching using everyday resources. Mine all had the same cup at one point - but in different colours. One of them was able to tell me which cup belonged to each person, but he didn't know the names of the colours. He could clearly distinguish one cup from another based on colour, but I guess the colour names weren't important enough for him to remember at that point - he could remember the polysyllabic names of lots of dinosaurs though!

With shapes, it is more important to learn/explore the properties of shapes than it is to learn the names of them. So lots and lots of handling/playing with shapes in different contexts. For example, rolling big tyres in an outdoor area and rolling ping pong balls down a make shift marble run, whereas cubes will slide. Cubes are good for building towers with, but spheres are not etc.

23-06-2016, 09:57 AM
Agree with every thing you have said Foradora children pick up colours/ shape through everyday use of them exspecially art etc. But, I have a four year old who Can't . Colour blindness is in his family, didn't find this out until I was talking to parent saying something isn't right, his not picking up on about 4/5 colours whichever way I try teaching him.

23-06-2016, 10:06 AM
I like to do a 2 or 3 week crash course in colours either in spring or in autumn, when they are so vibrantly present in the environment, flowers and leaves. Obviously I talk about them all the time same as I'm sure you do. However the kids who are slower at picking them up pretty much always get them quickly during my crash course :)

julie w
26-06-2016, 10:28 AM
Our local nursery does not teach colours as a planned topic because apparently some children cannot physically distinguish between colours until they are about 5 years old

26-06-2016, 01:13 PM
Our local nursery does not teach colours as a planned topic because apparently some children cannot physically distinguish between colours until they are about 5 years old

Oh That's interesting, thanks Julie :-) x

26-06-2016, 01:59 PM
Oh That's interesting, thanks Julie :-) x

It's hardly mentioned in EYFS/EYO/DM, some just don't get it until much older.
We talk about colours and use the colour names in our converstions but I don't go OTT on it as it just comes naturally when the child is ready. Nothing worse than some well-meaning adult pointing to a child's new shoes/t-shirt and asking 'what colour's that?'... as if they don't know and need to ask! I try to never 'test' children on colours like that- must be so stressful if they don't know it and you are putting them on the spot, and so boring if they know their colours already!

26-06-2016, 04:05 PM
I like to start with colour sorting games to find out whether or not children can actually distinguish between different colours. Eg. I've got the colour sorting dinosaurs and matching bowls. To start with the children will put any colour dinosaur in any bowl, but over time you see they are putting the right colour dinosaur in the right coloured bowl. You know then that they are seeing the different colours and can introduce more colour games.

Initially you find that children can find a certain colour (eg. can you pass me a blue block?) but they can't name the colour if you hold a block up and say "what colour is this?" They are 2 distinct steps and the ability to name the colour comes some time after the ability to find a colour.

Like others have said, using colour names in every day conversation is a good start :thumbsup:

27-06-2016, 12:31 PM
Thanks everyone, I've found this really interesting and reassuring actually as my own son, aged 2 doesn't know colours at all but I started to wonder if he was a bit behind with this!