With colours being such an integral part of our lives, parents are often eager to share the joy of colour with their little ones. This can be a real challenge, and many parents have found teaching colours far harder than numbers or shapes. Today we discuss when and how to teach your baby about colours, with some suggestions that many parents have found helpful.
When should I teach my child about colours?
It’s widely recognised that one of the best times to start teaching your child about colours is when they are around 18 months old. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start helping them become familiar with colours before then. While babies may not be able to verbally express their understanding of colours early on, some gentle learning can really enhance their colour differentiation, with noticeable results.
How can I teach my baby about colours?
The first thing to bear in mind is that all children learn at a different pace so don’t expect too much early on, be gentle. Try to teach them one colour at a time, don’t over-complicate things by introducing too many colours simultaneously. It is often most effective to use identical objects in two or more different colours so your baby or toddler can clearly see the difference. When teaching colour avoid using different shapes early on because that will only confuse or distract your child when they are meant to be learning about colours. One important method that many parents have found useful is making learning about colours interactive, using different coloured snacks, playing with different coloured balls or singing songs about different colours. Make it fun! Other ways of introducing colours include using the clothes your baby or toddler is wearing to teach them or even theming a whole week as one colour making use of toys, food and clothing.
Beware! Studies indicate that using colour words before nouns, like ‘blue ball’ or ‘red brick’, make colours harder to distinguish for babies and toddlers. Since learning colours at a young age is already a challenge for many little ones, avoiding this simple mistake by saying things like ‘the ball is blue’ will assist your child in picking up colours at an early age.
Teaching your baby or toddler about colours may at times be a challenge, but you can be sure that by starting early and using a variety of tools, your baby will begin to grasp these important concepts, and one day may even become the next Picasso or Monet!