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How to teach your preschooler about the color purple

purple irises
purple irises
photo by Lynn Wise

Contrary to popular belief, girls can be color blind, although it is rare, according to, which notes that, “Children as young as three can be tested for color blindness.”

To rule out color blindness, Ishihara plates may be used. If a preschooler can find a shape inside of the Ishihara plate, then the child is probably not color blind.

Another simple test that early childhood educators use when children are able to distinguish “same and different”, is to put a variety of crayons or colored objects in a place, such as on a table or floor, and hand the child one of the colors and have the child find one that is the same color. Try this several times with various colors to see if there are any colors the child cannot match. People who are color blind will be able to identify some colors, but not others.

In many cases, children learn to identify colors before they learn the concept of “same and different”. This is why the Ishihara plates are recommended.

Once you have determined that the preschooler is not color blind, you should feel certain that this child is capable of learning to identify and name the color purple. To help your child remember the color purple, you must get this color deep-rooted into the senses.

For example, your child should closely identify not only what purple looks like, but what purple might feel like, smell like, and taste like. While purple does not typically have a sound, you can get your preschooler to associate sounds or songs with the color while teaching about it.

purple irises
purple irises photo by Lynn Wise

purple irises

Purple irises
Purple irises generally have a very pleasant aroma. They are also very soft to the touch and blow softly in a breeze. Allow your preschooler to smell the irises.

purple art materials
purple art materials photo by Lynn Wise

purple art materials

Purple Art Supplies
Many preschoolers tend to be hands-on learners. Using the color purple for artwork is a hands-on approach to teaching them to name and identify the color. Let them know what color it is they are using to color their paper and ask them later what color they used.

grape photo by Lynn Wise


Grape jelly
Give purple a taste. Whenever preschoolers are drinking grape juice or spreading jelly on a sandwich or cracker, ask them what color the juice or jelly is. Ask them how it tastes and they will associate the color purple with something sweet.