Help toddlers learn colors

Explore fun, family-friendly suggestions to help young children learn colors.

Learning colors is often quite frustrating for toddlers and parents. Some parents may not realize that their toddler is in the beginning stages of learning colors, but it usually takes place between the ages of 18 months to 3 years-of-age. Learning colors is a long process and in order to identify colors, a toddler must go through three different steps with a lot of time and practice to master the skill:  

The first step is matching like colors. When your child is learning how to do this, he will not be able to point to a specific color or name a color when asked. Some simple ways to will help him learn to match colors include suggesting that your child help you pick up all the “green” (or other color) blocks first, while the two of you are picking up; try having a color of the day. For example, if the color of the day is red, make sure everyone is wearing at least one item of red clothing. Point out red objects in the grocery store, on the road, during meal times, etc. When your child is able to match six colors, it is time to move to the next step!

The second step is pointing to colors. You can help your child learn how to point to certain colors by doing things like helping him notice the colors of everyday objects. You could play “store” and gather clothing items or groceries, and ask your child to point to the blue socks or the green can. If your child points to the correct object, have him repeat the color and then have him put it in his shopping bag . Then let him pretend to buy it. “I Spy” is another way to help your toddler practice pointing to colors. This game can be played almost anywhere or anytime.

Last but not least, naming colors is the final step in learning-colors process. This may not come until a child is 3-years-old. This is a good time to have books about colors in your home. Your local library is a wonderful place to get children’s books, and it’s free.

Parents, be patient with your toddlers and remember that learning colors can be a long, but fun, process!

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