A preschooler is always eager to learn. One of the first things we teach them is different colors. You can teach colors along with other things like shapes, numbers, and counting, but starting with the different colors of the rainbow creates a solid foundation.
Here are a few parenting tips on teaching colors to your child:
The easiest way to teach colors is by association. Red is for apples, firetrucks, and stop signs. Orange is for orange juice, highway cones, and carrots. The list goes on. If you don’t have some of the objects you would normally use, don’t worry. Blocks or drawings will work just as well. Color association works well for children who find it easier to learn when they can put two ideas together. By attaching the color to an object it improves their ability to comprehend and retain the information.
Multi-sensory activities can also improve a child’s ability to learn. Using their eyes to see color is just one aspect of learning. You can also use smells to associate colors with objects. The smell of lemon will bring to mind the color yellow. Touch is also a way of teaching your child colors. Tearing up pieces of colored tissue paper and gluing the respective color into the area where it belongs on a picture will also help to teach colors that are associated with specific objects.
The Rainbow Plate
One of the easiest ways to teach colors and good health practices is to use food. This can start at an early age and will eventually become second nature. Purple plums, red apples, oranges, yellow lemons, green beans, and blueberries are just a few of the things you can use to create a “rainbow plate”. Eating foods from every color of the rainbow helps to ensure that you get all of the nutrients you need each day.
By using the items you have available and incorporating food play, you can teach your preschooler the colors of the rainbow in a short period of time. You will also be encouraging healthy habits that will serve them for the rest of their life.
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.