In teaching anything to young children, repetition is the key! Colors is one of the first concepts that toddlers are capable of learning. The best way to introduce concepts like colors to toddlers is to continuously talk to your child about colors. This should go hand in hand with teaching your child to talk. Rather then simply saying, “Look at the puppy,” use phrases like, “Look at the brown puppy”, “See the brown puppy?” etc.
When I first start teaching toddlers colors, I like to start out simply. I will give my toddler a red crayon and a white sheet of paper. Allow your toddler to freely scribble on the paper. As they are coloring, reinforce the fact that their crayon is red by saying, “That is a pretty red picture,” “Are you using a red crayon?” “This is red” or “See your red picture?” You can also find a printable picture of an object that is red like an apple, and have your toddler color that picture by giving them a red crayon. Another simple craft project that you can use to teach your toddler colors is to simply cut out circles from red construction paper and help your toddler glue them to a piece of paper.
Another way to teach colors to toddlers is to create a recognition page that you can show and talk about with your toddler. You can do this in two ways. One way is to put pictures of red objects together on a document on your computer and print it out. Another way is to collect red pictures from a magazine, etc. and glue them to a paper. However, with either way you choose to create a recognition page, make sure that the pictures you are using are 99% red. It is okay to have some other colors on the picture like a brown stem on a red apple. But, you don’t want to confuse your child by mixing different colors in your picture. To use the page simply sit your child down and talk to them about the red things that are on the paper. Use phrases like, “See the red apple,” “The apple is red” or “See the red picture.”
You can also use activities and games to teach toddlers their colors. A great activity to teach the color red is to create an orchard of red apples. Do this by cutting out apple shapes from red construction paper and laminate them. Place a small piece of Velcro on the back and place them on a bulletin board. Have the toddler “pick” the apples and place them into a red box or create. Reinforce to the child that they are picking Red Apples” as the child does the activity. As the child grows and learns more of their colors, you can mix in yellow and green apples as well. Use a red create, a yellow create and a green create and have the child place the corresponding apples into their color create.
By repetition and reinforcing what the child is learning by talking to them, your toddler can easily learn their colors in order to prepare them for their future in education.