Ever since teaching Timothy (age 2) about St. Patrick's Day and the different vocabulary that accompanies St. Patrick's Day, he has been obsessed with rainbows.  Even when eating pretzels, he nibbled on it until he made some semblance of an arch and exclaimed, "Mommy rainbow!"  It's really quite cute (or "tute" as he would say).

It got me thinking about colors and how to best teach them.  Timothy picked up on his colors rather quickly, but not every kid does.  If your child is having a hard time learning his colors, then try this technique.

Pick ONE COLOR and focus on that ONE COLOR for a set number of days.  You will know your child best.  If you want to change the color each day, do that.  If you want to have one color each week, do that.  However, focus on that one color.  You don't want to ignore the other colors, but really only be teaching that one color.  So, set a location in the house where you will display what color it is that day/week.  Get excited and your child will get excited too!  Put a piece of construction paper in that location to show the color of the day/week.  You can even write the word out on the construction paper so you are adding print with what your child hears.  Have them pick something out to wear that has that color (if this is too hard, then you choose two shirts and see if your child can find the one that matches the color of the day/week).  Have your child eat a snack that is that color (red = strawberries, orange = goldfish, etc).  Any worksheets or learning activities can be completed with a crayon, marker, or colored pencil that is the color of the week (so much more fun than using a pencil).  When you are running errands, then point out things that you see that are the color of the day/week.  When reading books, then point out things in the pictures that are the color of the day/week.  

When you focus on that one color, then your child won't get overwhelmed with ALL the colors that they see in a day.  If they call the yellow truck a blue truck, then correct them sweetly and say, "Oh I see that truck.  It's yellow.  I like that color", but move on don't get hung up.  We are only expecting them to learn ONE COLOR at a time.  

Also, don't be surprised if your child doesn't learn the color in a week.  That is ok.  Just cycle it through in a few weeks so that they get another go-round of that color. 

Also, we don't expect children to know their colors until age 3.  If your child is younger than 3 and is starting to recognize colors, then he/she is ahead of the game.  If your child is 3 and it's just starting to emerge then he/she is on-track.  If your child is 4 or older, then you will want to make sure to focus on teaching them colors (but don't panic, either).  If you are ever worried about your child's language progress, then always double check by asking your pediatrician or getting a speech therapy evaluation. 

Leave a Reply.