If you are shopping with your child for a back-to-school, daycare, or preschool back pack, you are likely hearing all about the importance of the exact right color. When your child is ready to start kindergarten, did you know the teacher may check to see if your child can identify any colors? Knowing colors is not required before starting school, but colors can give an indication of the level of a child’s thinking skill.
What makes learning colors so complex?
- Each color has many, many variations. For instance, think of blue. It can be bright, dull, light, dark, almost green or very close to purple, and still be blue.
- Not only can the color blue be different, but countless objects can be blue, like sky, many flowers, Eeyore, Grover, part of the costume of Spiderman and Superman, and Elsa’s Frozen dress.
- In addition, not everyone agrees on colors. Blueberries seem to be more purple than blue.
For children to be able to identify colors, they need plenty of experiences and feedback. They have to see enough examples of each color to have a general idea of what color belongs to what name. When kids see something new, their brains sort, compare, and target the appropriate color. A child’s answers to some color questions is a way to get a peek at thinking.
To help children with colors, take advantage of ordinary, everyday events, like getting dressed. What color pants today? At meal times, kids can choose their cereal bowl by color. Play a color game like I Spy when out on a walk. Kids can do crafts with colors, or draw and paint. They can sort blocks and toy cars by color. Does your child have a favorite color?
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