Teaching Colors

Every child learns differently and what they take interest in greatly varies from one child to the next. My daughter loves colors and those were the first words she really took interest in, followed by animals, and then the alphabet. How to teach any of these should be personalized to your child. Does he/she love books and reading? Try that route! Are they more hands on? Try painting or another creative outlet. Do they have particular toys that they are into? Try using colors to describe it/them. Here are some examples of what worked for us!



My daughter had a phase where all she said was “ball” and would play with and throw them everywhere! We used play balls like the ones you find in a ball pit and began learning colors that way. Work on 1 to 2 colors at a time so you do not overwhelm with too much information. Once those colors are down, add more! I read that saying the color after the noun helps children remember the colors better. You can try saying it as “This ball is green” instead of “green ball.” Here is an article with an explanation behind this if you want more information! http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-johnny-name-colors/


If your child is more hands-on and loves artsy activities. This is the way to go! Crayons are the perfect way to learn colors and painting can be applied not only for the basic colors, but of course with mixing colors later on.


Reading is important whether your child takes particular interest in it or not. As you are reading try describing the pictures. Point out the different colors and objects. This can work for animals, shapes, colors, prepositions of directions and so on!

Use the world around you!

Colors are everywhere, if you’re outside, point out that the sky is blue, the grass is green, and how that pretty flower is orange. The grocery store is my personal favorite place to teach colors; especially the produce section!

Activity Ideas

Once they seem to have colors down, there are a number of activities to do around the house to practice what they know!

1. Have a scavenger hunt in the house and ask for your little one to find something of a certain color and to bring it to you! This can be done with shapes also!

2. Use clear plastic cups filled with water and use food coloring or Crayola Bath Dropz, found here Crayola Bath Dropz, to create the primary colors. Have a few empty cups for your child to practice pouring and mixing colors. This is a great way to teach primary and secondary colors and how they are made.
3. Use a pile of objects that are all different colors; this can be buttons (if you have a mouther, not the best option!), blocks, balls, even construction paper cut into pieces. Have your child sort the objects into piles by color.
4. Make flashcards! I love flashcards for a fast review with just about anything; colors, shapes, letters, numbers. This is a perfect car activity or one to use at a restaurant while waiting on food. We all know how toddlers can get when they’re hungry! This is a way to HOPEFULLY keep them occupied while also learning.


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