Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet… just to name a few. Imagine you were learning a new language and your teacher sat there spewing out different color names while pointing at different objects. It would take you a long time to associate the right color with the right word. Toddlers live in a confusing world and while they learn quickly, it’s hard to keep all the new information straight. The concept of color is difficult and simply naming random things is not the most effective approach.
The best way to teach a concept like color is by focusing on just one at a time. Try having “Blue Day” (or blue week) where you talk about and bring attention to that one color. By all means, point out different shades, but call them all “blue” for starters.
-Wear blue clothes - as your child catches on, let him/her help choose
-Eat blue food; point out what’s blue on your child’s plate (blueberries… that might be it for naturally blue food but this works with the other colors!)
-Color or paint with shades of blue
-Read a book and find the blue objects in the pictures
-Take a trip to the UK bookstore – there’s blue everywhere!
-Go on a blue hunt around your house, collecting blue toys and objects
-Swim at a pool (Woodland Park, Masterson Station, YMCA) or visit the fountain at The Mall at Lexington Green and talk about how water and the sky are blue
If you have older children, include them in the activities. Explain to them what you are doing and why. They’ll be excited to help and will often have more ideas for activities.
This approach to teaching can be applied to many other ideas like shapes, animals, numbers, or anything that has an opposite (up/down, on/off etc.).