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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Great Activities To Teach Colours

Today I am excited to feature Broot from Lost In A Sea Of Blogs to share with you some great ideas on how to teach your children about colours:

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What great activities can you do with colour? Today I am going to share with you some great activities that can be done at home with little to no cost. Simple activities are usually the most effective!

The main way to teach littlies the association between colour names and the colours themselves is language. You have to use the colour names whenever you can. Use colours to describe their favourite toys, their favourite characters, their favourite clothes, their favourite foods, their favourite pets. Why their favourites? Because they care about those things and they’ll be interested to hear the different ways to describe their favourite things.

But I know that’s not why you’re reading this post. So here’s other things you can do...

“I Spy” is a favourite in our house. “I spy with my little eye something that is BLUE!” and then we name as many blue things as we can. You can extend this to finding as many items in that colour as you can. Bonus game – when you’re cleaning up, you clean up using colour... “Can you find me something that is RED? Fantastic! Now where does the RED thing go?”

Blocks of any kind in many different colours (like MegaBloks, Duplo, and especially coloured wooden blocks) are wonderful for colour games. “Let’s stack up all the YELLOW blocks.” “Can you find me a GREEN block?” “Where did the BLUE block go?” If you don’t have blocks, you can make some using cardboard boxes and paint.

You can use finger paint to teach them about mixing colours to make a new one – make a batch of uncoloured finger paint, and then let your littlies squish the colour through it. And let them mix the colours together. Make sure you talk about what’s happening as you go – “You’ve mixed the colour BLUE! And now that you’ve added YELLOW, you’ve made the colour GREEN!”

This works for Playdough too – make uncoloured playdough, and then let your littlies knead tempura powder or non-toxic dye or colouring into the dough. You could also knead in some coloured glitter, sand, or sawdust for a complimentary effect. “Hey look, our playdough is Purple and Yellow!”

Want to discover colours with water? Have a tea party!! Have several containers of coloured water, and a lot of empty ones for mixing them together. Again, make sure you talk about the colours they’re using and what’s happening to them as they mix together!

Or you can half-freeze a container of water, and then eyedropper or syringe different food colouring into the (almost) ice, and refreeze. Now hang it somewhere with a container beneath to watch the colour drip from the block of ice. Talk about what colours are dripping and what happens when the drips mix together!

Regardless of which activities you try, remember that littlies learn best when they are allowed to experiment and make mistakes. Make sure you let them do the mixing, the building and the playing.

Thanks, Jenn, for allowing me the opportunity to guest blog for you today.

Broot learned to be "parent as first teacher" when she joined Playcentre (http://playcentre.org.nz) in late 2004. Playcentre is a non-profit parent co-operative that teaches parents how to educate their infants, toddlers and young children. She has two children: one 6 year old at school and a 4 year old who is excited to be starting school in February next year. Her family lives near Tauranga, New Zealand. Broot writes a non-mommy blog at http://lostinaseaofblogs.wordpress.com and maintains some internet anonymity to protect her children's privacy. 

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Thanks Broot for stopping by today and sharing your great ideas to teach your kids about colours. You've got lots of great ideas for us to try out this week!


  1. Loved the post ...

    - Smita

  2. Great ideas.

    We've been talking, talking, talking about color all summer, and Adam can name everything from black to purple, with occasional mix ups with blue and red. He's so used to me naming colors, he does it without being asked. Nothing is just ______. It's (color) _______.


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