The Importance of Colors in Early Learning & How to Teach Little Ones about Colors
Colors are all around us, and seeing a splash of color can be a mood-lifting experience for children and adults alike. However, did you know that in the first few months of their lives, babies can only see monochromatic colors - that is shades of grey, black and white. It is only between 6 and 8 months, that their eyes and brains are able to process and see different colors, especially primary colors (red, yellow and blue). Interestingly, research has shown that these primary colors are great for brain stimulation in the early years.
Colors play an important role in early child development and education. They are a fun medium for learning about different concepts, they catch a child’s attention easily, are great for brain stimulation and even help young ones express themselves. Different colors can have different meanings, effects on mood and even can express different things.
- Red: Can be used to express anger, frustration. It can also signify danger and caution.
- Blue: Represents trust, calmness and intelligence. Did you know? Blue is the favorite color of 90% of the population.
- Yellow: It signifies happiness, vibrancy, youth and excitement. It is generally known as a color that can elevate a person’s mood.
- Green: Usually indicates harmony, growth, stability and nature. It is a color that has a calming effect on people.
- Orange: Orange signifies creativity, enthusiasm, health and even joy.
- White: Denotes peace, calmness and serenity. It is one of the most popular colors used on flags through the world.
As children grow up, color Is an important medium through which they relate to the world, describe their feelings, express their creativity, and it also forms a large part of expressing their individuality. Color also helps little ones understand and absorb more about the environment around them.
Other skills that colors help laying the foundation for:
Pattern matching: Identifying colors enables sorting and pattern matching – a crucial part of early math skills. Sorting. Matching and pattern making also helps children, understand similarities and differences, and also hones logical thinking skills.
Understanding math: When children play with wooden clocks, solve puzzles, and sort and stack, they are exposed to basic geometric concepts such as shape, size, space and position.
Develop vocabulary: When little ones understand colors, it adds to their vocabulary. They can add colors to their descriptions of events, places and feelings.
Visually discriminate: With the understanding of colors, children can visually discriminate among different objects. For instance, while looking in a fruit basket to find and orange, your little one knows which fruit to pick out at a glance.
How to Teach Young Children about Colors
The most important thing while learning colors is to take it slowly and not overwhelm children with too much at once. Parents and educators can introduce colors through fun activities, and in general conversation.
Some activities that are a great way to teach little ones colors include:
- Fun with Playdough: Modelling with different colors of playdough encourages children to build different things with different colors of playdough. It also promotes dexterity and fine motor skills. Children also have a lot of fun mixing different colors of playdough together and seeing the resulting new color.
- Finger Painting: Many children love getting a little messy while they make art. Finger painting is a great way to help children learn about new colors. You can start with teaching one color a day, and talking about the color. Questions could be “where else have you seen the color?”, “what does this color make you feel?” etc.
- Color Matching Games: There are many puzzles and color matching games available for children in different age groups. They are not only fun, but also promote learning colors, logical thinking, creativity, memory and retention.
- Colored Beads Sorting and Lacing: Sorting and lacing colored beads, or making wooden bracelets at home is fun for children, and also gives them a little-something that they made to wear and show off to everyone.
- Coloring Books: Using crayons help little ones identify colors and use these different colors to express themselves and make their creative worlds come alive. Crayons also help children with their grip, an important skill that is a precursor to writing.
So parents, educators and friends, we hope we have added a little more color in your life, and have aided you in making your little one’s education journey more colorful! Do let us know if you have other fun activities to help your little ones learn more about colors.