Written by Smita Srivastava
Wherever you turn you see colors. Babies don’t understand colors for a few months after birth. They slowly start perceiving and understanding colors as they grow. At this age, if you teach them all about colors, they will learn quickly and remember them for life. Fun and engaging hands-on color activities for toddlers is a perfect way to teach colors in a better way and it will be fun for both you and them.
When you learn something through play and activities, the brain understands it better and tends to retain it longer. This is why learning through play is a very effective mode of learning, especially for toddlers. If you want to teach your toddler colors through games and activities, you have come to the right place!
In This Article
Learning to identify and differentiate between colors is an important milestone for toddlers. Between the age of 1 and 3 a toddler’s cognitive development and visual perception enables them to understand different colors and shades. It is important to teach toddler colors at this age.
It is not just about learning color names. Toddlers see and observe many things around them and knowing colors helps them clearly understand what their eyes are seeing. It also helps in their communication.
You can sit your toddler down and teach them the name of each color but that is not very interesting. We have colors all around us and the best way to teach your toddler is to take advantage of this. Let your toddler experience colors and play with them, it will help them learn faster and better.
Involve your toddler in multiple activities and games using colors. No expensive equipment or materials are required for this. You can come up with interesting activities by using everyday items like books, socks etc., or the usual paints, crayons, and colored pencils.
[Read : When Do Babies Start Seeing Colors?]
Toddlers love to play games and do activities that engage their senses. They not only learn but also make their own interpretations, which is an important milestone in their development. Here are 10 such color activities and games for toddlers you can use to teach colors-
Toddlers – between the age of 1 and 3 love to use their hands. Give them some paint on small plates and watch their faces light up with joy. Encourage your toddler to use their fingers or even their whole hands to paint or draw a picture on plain paper. You can demonstrate by drawing some stick figures with your fingers after dipping them in paint.
It is a messy affair, so ensure you use a plastic sheet or a mat to protect the surface. Letting your toddler paint with their fingers and hands helps develop fine motor skills. You can keep repeating the color names as and when they use color.
[Read : Finger Painting For Babies]
Toddlers love to play around with the food on their plates – much to the parents’ chagrin. You can make use of this interest and help your toddler learn colors as they play with their food. Let them make houses or some random shapes from different colored foods, similar to what they do with blocks.
Apart from teaching about colors, toddlers learn which food item comes in which color. You can serve them different colored fruits or vegetables on their plate and encourage them to eat a particular colored food item.
This is a fun and inexpensive game. All you need is a set of colorful cards – you can make them with plain cards yourself. Make two of each color. You can spread them facing upwards and ask your toddler to match the colors and make pairs.
If your toddler is a little older, you can turn these cards face down and turn them into a memory game. You can ask them to flip one card and find the matching card. If they don’t find the correct pair, they turn it back down and try again.
This game can help improve your toddler’s cognitive and perception skills. It also helps improve their memory. Picking the cards off the floor and turning it around will also help improve their pincer grip.
Cut or tear a color paper into small pieces. Draw a picture and ask your toddler to stick the color paper bits inside that picture. You can help by applying the glue only inside the picture so that when your toddler places the random pieces, they will stick easily.
This activity improves their finger grip and fine motor skills when they pick the pieces and stick them using their fingers. Since they deal with just one color per picture, it makes it easier to learn the color name as well. You can teach them “red apple”, “green pear”, “yellow mango”, “orange sun”, and so on. They can learn both colors and object names with this activity.
You can use some edible food color and pasta shells. Split the pasta shells into two batches and mix each batch with one food color. Now you have two different colored shells that you can put in one bowl together. Give your toddler two smaller bowls and ask them to sort the shells according to the color.
As your toddler gets better with this activity, you can add more colors and make the activity more challenging.
This activity helps improve your toddler’s color perception, fine motor skills, and problem-solving skills. All these together help improve their cognitive abilities while keeping them occupied for a while.
[Read : Spaghetti Play For Babies]
Now, this can be a fun and messy activity or a clean and simple activity depending on the medium you use for mixing colors. Use primary colors like red, yellow, and blue as they can form other colors upon mixing.
For non-messy play, you can let your toddler just explore by mixing crayons on paper. Let them use one color first and color over it with other colors. They can explore how the colors change when mixed.
If you are open to some fun and messy play that can improve more skills, you can use paints or colored water. Give your toddler 3 or 4 different paints they can use to paint on paper. Let them use their hands and colorful handprints one on top of the other and see how the colors change on mixing.
You can also give them 3 or 4 cups with different colored water. Let them pour and mix to explore the colors. This activity can also improve their pouring skills and sharpen their focus.
This is a very easy activity that can help you with your laundry too. Throw a bunch of socks together in a pile and ask your toddler to sort them into matching pairs. Apart from just colors, toddlers will learn to recognize distinct patterns too.
This activity can help improve their sorting abilities and help you find all those missing pairs.
This is a fun activity, and you can turn it into a game among kids too. You can use empty tissue paper rolls for this.
You will need about five tubes or empty rolls. Color them in a different color each. It can be simple bright colors like red, green, yellow, blue, white, and orange. Stick these tubes on a board or the wall, so that your toddler can drop things through them from the top.
You can use store-bought pom poms or just random small items in these five colors. Put them all in a box and hand it over to your toddler. Ask them to drop the items through matching colored tubes. You can turn this into a game if there are two or more kids. You may have to increase the number of items in the box for them to drop through the tubes.
This activity helps them to improve problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and also to understand colors.
This is a great way to enjoy some sun and fresh air. Give your toddler a bunch of plain colored cards. Go to a park or garden nearby and ask your toddler to find flowers matching the cards in their hands. Don’t ask them to pluck the flowers. You can ask them to take the card to the flower to match instead.
This activity will encourage your toddler to move around physically, explore their surroundings and find matching items. It helps improve their gross motor skills and perception of colors while making them hunt and identify colors.
Have you noticed how your toddler suddenly finds things that you lost a while ago? They love to find things and their observation is much sharper than adults. Use this to make a game that will not only teach your toddler colors but can keep them occupied for a while too.
Take a chart and draw lines to split it into six parts. Color each part in a different color. Now ask your toddler to find 5 or 10 objects from around the house, to match each color square. Since they are too young, go in order. Start with one color and move on to the next after completing collecting the required number of objects.
Next, you can count and name these objects as you check what your toddler found. Now, in addition to colors, your toddler will learn the name of the items and counting too. This game can bring out the explorer in them. They will improve their observational and recollection skills, as they try to find items for each color.
Teaching colors through color activities and games for toddlers help them learn and retain information faster and longer. We are surrounded by colors and learning about them can be fun for the little minds. Remember, each toddler is different and some may take more time than others to understand and match the right colors. Do not rush your toddler and be patient with them. Guide and come up with more color activities for toddlers if necessary. Teaching a toddler about colors helps them cross important milestones as they grow up.
Toddlers can start understanding colors around 18 months of age. This will be the perfect time to start involving them in color-related activities and games. Some toddlers may even take longer to recognize colors. Keep patience when you teach toddler colors.
Learning colors helps a toddler cognitively interpret what their eyes see. It is important for them to understand what colors they are looking at, to help their brain make the right connection and understand the surrounding. It builds their visual perception and also helps in developing communication skills as they can express themselves more clearly.
Bright colors attract toddlers a lot. So, you can introduce colors like red, yellow, blue, and green to them first. You can use these colors to paint their room, or buy them toys and books which are bright in color.
Read Also: Teaching Vowel Sounds To Your Toddler
With a background in Mass media and journalism, Smita comes with rich and vast experience in content creation, curation, and editing. As a mom of a baby girl, she is an excellent candidate for writing and editing parenting and pregnancy content. The content she writes and edits is influenced by her own journey through pregnancy and motherhood. When not writing- She can be found curled up with a book. Or, bingeing on Netflix.Read more.
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