Colors can be part of helping kids explore some basic and critical math. Play activities can use colors for counting and numbers.
Young children will explore numbers on their own using the words they have heard as they stack blocks or put small things in containers. Although it’s not accurate, they are getting the ideas that numbers tell the story of how many there are, of the quantity of something. They need lots of practice before counting is accurate.
As kids play, we can occasionally ask questions like: How many red blocks? How many blue dinosaurs? We can also ask them to compare: Are there more red cars or more green ones? Questions like these can be part of play as appropriate. These blocks are stacked up to be towers of different numbers.
Older kids might like to explore numbers and counting with board games. Often, boards will have different colors for the spaces and each person’s marker will be a particular color. We don’t even notice how colors are used, they just seem to be part of the background.
Decks of cards use only 2 colors, red or black, but the colors and numbers work together. Kids can match colors or numbers in a variety of card games. They will often invent their own ways to play with cards.
One of the tools used in kindergarten for helping kids with numbers is the Power of Ten cards. These are long, narrow grids with two rows of five squares. The squares are colored in to make the numbers. Kids had fun putting blocks on top of the colored squares or other items. They often made their own numbers using the zero cards.These are only a few suggestions for activities that kids can use colors for counting and numbers. Hopefully, they will inspire you to find ways to support your child’s play. Could we color and count the ways?