learning colors

Colors of Childhood: Early Social Skills for Kids

developing identityNot only can colors be fun for math, science, and art but also for learning about relationships. Colors can also help with early social skills for kids.

All humans share some common characteristics and each of us has some unique ones. Learning about personal identity will be something that begins in childhood and continues our whole life. A starting point is often the color of hair, eyes, and skin, making our own personal palette.

developing self-awarenessWhen children play and interact with other children in large groups, a common social teaching is everyone is a little the same, and everyone is a little different and it’s what people are like inside that counts.

In their early drawings, children will often use any color or their favorites, but will gradually choose ones that are more accurate, reflecting their growing self-awareness.

early social skills for kidsIn the book, Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni, a blue spot and a yellow spot are best friends. After a hug, they turn green which confuses the adult-spots, until the kid-spots show how it happened. Then the adults have a similar experience. Although it is a simple story, there is an underlying message that we are affected by our relationships with others, a life lesson in colors and dots.

early social skills for kidsAnother story about people and colors is the book People by Peter Spier. Detailed illustrations show an amazing variety of colors for eyes, hair, skin, clothing, buildings, and more. Filled with hundreds of finely painted images, Peter Spier says, “You have to tell the story in the drawings.” One image shows a world that is mostly the same, with very few differences, and is quite boring. The opposite image vibrates with all the differences of colors, shapes, and sizes. The message in this book is that differences are not just okay, but really rather wonderful.

Can some fun and play with colors, color the day for you and your child?

Colors of Childhood: Drawing with Crayons

This year is the 60th anniversary of Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson. Reading it can inspire some drawing with crayons fun for kids. Harold even drew some fun for adults in an episode of The Simpsons.

harold and the purple crayonHarold and his purple crayon not only draw pictures, they also have adventures, with the crayon drawing out and creating the story. Imagination turns the wiggly lines into ocean waves and a straight line into a path in the woods. A rectangle with a horizontal and a vertical line in the middle becomes a window. Lots of rectangles with crosses makes a tall building with many windows. Even though all the illustrations are purple, in our mind’s eye we can see the other colors too.

Both images and words contribute to the story and encourage the skill of visualizing. To visualize is to create images in the mind from words and sounds. It is a critical skill for reading and helps kids clue into the meaning of what they hear.

kittyWe don’t think of visualizing as something we need to practice, but it can be a challenging skill for many. Not only does it help with reading, but the strategy of visualizing is also used in relaxation therapy. It can help reduce anxiety and stress.

When kids draw, we can encourage them to tell us about their pictures. Some possibilities of things to  ask or say are:

Tell me about your picture.
Do I see a circle shape?
Are there any people in your pictures?

If kids have three or 4 pictures, you could put them together into a book. It doesn’t need to tell a story like Harold’s. It can be called (Your Child’s Name) and the Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple Crayons. Or, the book might be markers instead of crayons. Will you keep it for 60 years?

Colors of Childhood: Fall Colors Scavenger Hunt

The first day of fall, no matter the weather, paints itself in vibrant colors. Here is a fall colors scavenger hunt for kids to do outside in nature.

You can print the hunt card or make one of your own on a stiff paper or cardboard. The side of a cereal box is nice and sturdy and usually blank on one side. Kids can color the circle themselves to match the color word.

When they go outside, kids can either collect one or more items for each color. When they come home, they can glue them onto the board or just draw a picture. It’s hard to bring home a piece of the sky, it that is what kids find for the color blue. Purple can also be quite a challenge.

I can hardly wait for us to do this. Will you and your child go for a fall colors scavenger hunt and adventure?


Colors of Childhood: Color and Fizzy Science Fun

Colors can be used in so many different play activities, not just art. A few drops of food coloring and water made for some color and fizzy science fun. Set out some small containers with a bit of vinegar in each, and add a few drops of food coloring. The darker the solution the easier … Continue reading Colors of Childhood: Color and Fizzy Science Fun

Colors of Childhood: Colors for Counting and Numbers

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 … Continue reading Colors of Childhood: Colors for Counting and Numbers

Colors of Childhood: Books About Colors

There are some wonderful books about colors for kids: old, new, big, little, imaginative stories, real nature ones, and more. The hard part is choosing! One of the well-loved and well-used books about colors is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. This book is a favorite … Continue reading Colors of Childhood: Books About Colors

Colors of Childhood: Science and Color Fun

Last week, when we made rainbow cookies, we noticed the color came off when mixing so this week we tried an experiment for some science and color fun. While the cookies tasted wonderful, we didn’t have the bright colors to make rainbows. We wanted to see what would happen to the colors if they weren’t … Continue reading Colors of Childhood: Science and Color Fun

Colors of Childhood: Button Color Sorting Activity

Not every house will have a large collection of buttons like we do, but even a few will be fun for this button color sorting activity —on pipe cleaners. With only a couple of handfuls, Little Sister enjoyed playing with the buttons and making piles of “jewels”  although she  couldn’t decide if they were for … Continue reading Colors of Childhood: Button Color Sorting Activity