At nineteen months old, my toddler daughter is not quite ready for structured educational activities. However, starting when she was a newborn, my husband and I have striven to provide her with educational activities at every opportunity. We talk to her as much as possible to expand her language skills. We read to her all the time. We interact with her as much as she wants. We take her to zoos and museums. However, amid all those activities, we also give her time for free play. Young children learn best through play. But, even during play time, we interact with her to give her an education boost.
One skill that my daughter is working on at the moment is learning her colors. My daughter loves handing me all her toys while I sit on the couch in the living room. As she hands me toy after toy, I name the toy and another attribute such as the shape or color. For example, when she hands me a red ball, I say, “Red ball.” When she hands me a green maraca, I say, “Green maraca.” Sometimes she will even hand me a toy and ask, “What that?” I then happily name the toy that she handed me.
Although my daughter thinks that we are just playing a fun naming game, she is actually learning a lot of valuable information about language and the world including her colors. To further work with learning the names of the colors, I recently put together a fun but simple toddler activity involving sorting toys of two different colors. I took a play basket and put toys of red and green inside. My daughter excitedly began exploring the toys as soon as I handed her the basket.
While she looked through the toys, I named each toy along with the color: for example, red ball, green maraca, green ball, green turtle, red apple, red block. I then helped her sort the toys into two separate piles by color. When my daughter mixed the toys back up, I sorted out the colors again while naming each toy and color. As she gets older, she will start to sort the toys by color on her own. Also as she gets older, I can add more than two colors to the basket. However, at her young age, I started with just two very different colors: red and green. Teaching young children about colors is as simple as playing a sorting game with toys the child already owns.
How do you teach your child about colors?
Basket of Red and Green Toys © 2013 Heather Johnson