Kindergarten Readiness/Early Learning Basics: Colors

Parents and caregivers often ask what young children need to know before kindergarten; this is the 18th in a series of blog posts on kindergarten readiness and early learning basics. No matter the age of your little one, this will give you a general picture of what to do as your child’s very first teacher.

While this Friday may be Black, it can have the whole rainbow of colors for some kindergarten readiness learning and fun. Knowing colors is not a requirement for kindergarten, but many kindergarten readiness evaluations will check if a child knows some colors. Because learning colors is such a complicated thinking skill, knowing some gives a general idea of a child’s level of thinking.
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What makes learning colors so complicated?

  • Each color has many, many variations. Red can be bright, dull, almost orange or a deep burgundy, but still be red.
  • Not only can reds be different, but countless objects can be red like red berries, red Elmo and red lights.
  • In addition, not everyone agrees on colors. I have a green jacket my husband calls blue.

For children to be able to identify colors, they need to see many objects for each one. Gradually, young brains have enough examples for each color to be able to figure out the color of unfamiliar items. Although naming colors is challenging, children who are struggling with colors may be struggling in other areas too.

To help children with colors, talk about them as kids get dressed in the morning. What color bowl for cereal? You may see lots of colors as you go places. Play I Spy and look around for colors. Maybe do a craft with colors. Sort the laundry by colors, especially the reds!
What color will your day be?

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