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Teaching colours through life experiences

Our world is literally made up of colours and shapes. At Dragonfly’s Early Learning at Coolum Beach, we know that teaching children to recognise them is paramount. Cars, flowers, and street signs around us come in many different colours.

Colours and shapes are a key way that we describe and categorise the world around us. Children will notice that a red flower is different from a yellow one, and that a round bread roll has a different shape than a square slice of bread.

Teaching children about colours is a great way to give them some vocabulary for describing the world around them. This opens up new and exciting avenues for verbal communication.

Colours often give us information about health and safety. For example, we use red in our culture to indicate ‘danger’ or ‘stop,’ such as with red stop lights and red stop signs.

Colours can also tell us about our health. If a person’s skin has blue marks, it may mean they have suffered a bruise. If a person’s skin turns red, they may have spent too much time in the sun. And black marks on a wall could indicate the presence of an insect, a spider, or even mould.

Children are unable to differentiate between different colours until about 18 months of age, which is also about the same time that children start to notice differences and similarities between textures, sizes, and shapes. However, while children can start to differentiate between colours around 18 months, it can take until age 3 before children can fully understand the difference between colours and name them.

Teaching colours is best done through playful everyday life experiences. When developmentally ready, many children easily learn their colours very easily. Parents and Educators often point out colour attributes of objects in children’s environment. “Throw me the red ball” or “Do you want the green shoes or the orange shoes?”

Children can also match objects by colour. When children are doing artwork, they are very interested in the colours that they are using and love to talk about and name the colours they have chosen for their drawing.

To learn more about Dragonfly’s Early Learning, Coolum Beach click below or call us on (07)54716500.