Colour Playtime

After a few sunny days the garden has become a lot more colourful; this gave me the inspiration for the subject of this article – fun ways to teach colours. Children learn to name colours at different ages however it is never too early to start and it can be great fun!

Here are some ideas for colourful experiences:

  1. Name colours in general conversation, “look there is a yellow digger”, “look at that black bird”, “can you eat up your red strawberry” etc.
  2. Use colours as part of choices, “do you want to wear the red t-shirt or the blue t-shirt?”, “what colour plate would you like?”
  3. Play matching games, using simple colour flashcards or colour bean bags to get your toddler to find an object the same colour or take the card to something the same colour.
  4. Play the game ‘I spy’ but instead of saying “something beginning with the letter…” say “something the colour…” and guess things that are that colour, you can also use patterns – “stripy”, “spotty” etc or try the more abstract “I’m thinking of something that is the colour…” for things out of view
  5. Go on a colour adventure – choose a colour and while you are out see what you can spot that is that colour, or try and find a rainbow – something of each colour in turn, see our colour walk for more ideas.
  6. Play turn-taking games that involve matching colours or throwing coloured dice
  7. Use colours as part of physical play, play with coloured beanbags, balls, and hoops, get children to run to, kick, or throw a certain colour.
  8. Have a colour day – choose a colour and make that your theme of the day, wear clothes that are that colour, eat food that is that colour, play with toys that are that colour, paint pictures with that colour.
  9. Use colours in messy play:
  • Add food colouring to water for colourful water play
  • Mix paints – paint one hand yellow and the other blue, make a handprint picture… then see what happens when the hands are rubbed together
  • Mix playdoh – get a ball of red and a ball of yellow, what happens when you mix them together
  • Freeze coloured water in a variety of containers and watch what happens when it melts, and the colours mix together
  • Make collages using different colour materials, e.g yellow sand, orange lentils, green grass and blue paper
  • Make finger paint pictures

Overall the most important thing when learning colours is to have fun and include colourful language in general conversation.


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