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Teaching colours to toddler

(33 Posts)
Mawsymoo Thu 10-Mar-16 08:36:25

DS is 21 months and loves playing games where he points to things in books/body parts when you say "where's x/y/z?". He has a good few words and can recognise lots of animals, cars, food, the usual! However he doesn't seem to get the concept of colour

OhShutUpThomas Thu 10-Mar-16 08:37:56

There's no rush.

But when you do, start with one common colour like red. Point out red stuff all the time, walk round the house collecting red things.
When he's got red, move on to another.

Seeline Thu 10-Mar-16 08:40:04

If he likes cars that's a really good place to start. We used to watch the traffic out of the window and DS would love saying car, truck, bus, van etc and I'd say yes a red bus, blue car etc. He soon picked it up. Also when playing with his cars ask for the red one, or the blue one.
Spot things when you're out and about too.

Mawsymoo Thu 10-Mar-16 08:40:39

Sorry hit post too soon...

So the books he has that name colours generally have pictures of e.g blue bird, red fox etc - he recognises the animal but doesn't seem to grasp the colour concept. I'm not at all worried about that as he's still only a baby but I'd love to play a game with him that could teach him the basic colours and I think he'd enjoy it too. It would also help with other play as he loves his duplo etc.

Any ideas?

OhShutUpThomas Thu 10-Mar-16 08:42:36

He's too young to get 'a red bird' because that's two things. If say he's too young for colour as a concept full stop actually.

Just point out things in whatever colour you decide to do first for a few days or weeks. It takes time and there's no point rushing it.

LucyMouse Thu 10-Mar-16 08:46:03

I'm sure my son also first grasped the concept of colour when looking at cars.
I would say it's just a case of repetition. Pick half a dozen different coloured objects and keep drumming in, "Daddy's car is red, bowl is blue, etc" until he learns these phrases and can transfer his knowledge to other objects.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Thu 10-Mar-16 08:46:49

I've got this Counting Colours book which has double pages of coloured items ie Red - strawberries, tomatoes, roses etc
It has been a massive hit with my lo (only 15mo) and she knows all the 'vocab' but we're still working on the colours.
Round the side is a list of numbers of items ie 1 egg, 2 spoons etc so as she gets older she can work on counting too.
Good luck!

Mawsymoo Thu 10-Mar-16 08:47:31

Thanks for the replies so quickly! I'm not in a rush as sick he just seems to live playing these sort of games so I want to go with that! I might try to pick up a pack of little cars in the basic colours and go from there - great idea!

Also we had a developmental check a couple of months ago as he was a late walker and the nurse mentioned I should introduce sorting games. I brought in some clothes pegs in 2 colours and showed him how to sort them into 2 different pots but he didn't have any interest so I left it. I will try again now but can anyone recommend sorting games their kids loved?

Sorry these probably seem like basic questions but this doesn't come naturally to me!

Mawsymoo Thu 10-Mar-16 08:48:58

Jeepers so many typos - sorry! Thanks for all the ideas

Rinceoir Thu 10-Mar-16 08:59:19

My 22 month old learned about colours in the last few weeks. We didn't teach her as such, it happened because I got her new yellow shoes- she loves shoes. She brought them home and started matching them with other yellow things so we told her they were yellow. Then she started with other colours. It just happened to interest her so she learned to do it. A month ago she had absolutely no idea what any colour was. We visited friends with a just turned 2 year old last weekend- their DD didn't know any colours but has an idea of basic counting as that obviously interested her.

She loves matching pictures of things to the thing (showing photos of me to me for example, and random dogs in her storybooks to her grandparents dog!), loves shape sorters, coloured blocks etc- she is very keen on puzzles and simple jigsaws.

FraterculaArctica Thu 10-Mar-16 11:01:35

My 23 month old has just 'got it' in the last few weeks and can now tell me reasonably accurately things that are red, blue, green, yellow, orange. He became very interested in colour words around 20 months but everything was 'green'. (I remember asking him what colour Rudolph's nose was - he insisted it was green!) Then he spent a while giving random answers if asked what colour something was (red/blue/green/yellow) but in the last month it seems to have clicked and he now gets it right more often than not. I think 'yellow' clicked first - there is a standard order they are meant to get colours in.

I'm not sure and I'm certainly not competitive but I think DS may be a little on the early side with this. Just posting to show that in my (limited!)experience, 21 months isn't too young for the concept of colour.

DS has no interest in sorting games, most small objects are to be lobbed across the floor! I don't think he'd get that as a concept yet. At the moment he's really into pouring games - series of beakers and I put water (or dried peas are easier to clean up) and he sits there pouring them from one to the other.

ODog Thu 10-Mar-16 12:57:07

My DS is the same age. If you ask him everything is either blue, red or green. Totally lottery as to whether he gets it right or not. Don't worry, they are still very young to get this sort of stuff. Just keep talking about colours when you do painting, colouring, play-doh etc and he will get it in the end. I don't know any adults that don't know their colours!

Mawsymoo Thu 10-Mar-16 20:50:57

Thanks all for the tips. I took out some different coloured cars this evening and tried it out but he didn't understand. I'd point out the yellow car then ask where the yellow car is and he'd say "gone" (which is word of the moment!). I'll do the same thing every now and then and I'm sure it will click eventually!

KatyN Thu 10-Mar-16 22:19:18

I ccan't remember when my son learnt his colours but I do remember him learning one colour at a time. So first was peeky pat (Portman pat red) then he learnt yellow which also had a funny name. Blue and green came much later for him. Much much later I think (I remember worrying with his nursery worker).

kiki22 Fri 11-Mar-16 11:47:13

Ds learned his colours from mickey mouse club house blush and his shapes he seemed to think the club house gang were much more interesting teachers than me!

YesILikeItToo Fri 11-Mar-16 11:59:20

You may be assuming that they learn colours by noticing the DIFFERENCE between the cars in the pack, but that's not how they learn them at all. They learn the colours one at a time, by noticing what's the SAME about objects with that colour. So at nursery, any focus on colour at this age would be on one colour - "let's look for yellow things in the room!" DDs nursery did yellow first, this and red are common first colours, although there may be a significant thing that a child is interested in that puts one colour to the fore ("my purple shoes"). Loads of people notice their child struggle with blue, it often comes last. That is very frustrating, because again if you have a pack of four cars and the child recognises three of the colours it seems obvious to us that the OTHER ONE is the blue one, but it isn't obvious to them!

Chocolatestain Sat 12-Mar-16 06:57:11

DS is very bright and observant about most things, but just didn't 'get' colours until he was about two and a half. I spoke to his key worker at nursery who said her DD had been the same and just give it time. I named colours when playing with things like building blocks, but didn't push him to name them as realised there was something he wasn't understanding and got upset.

mrsmugoo Sat 12-Mar-16 07:08:42

I taught mine his basic colours at around 20 months with the use of coloured boats in the bath.
Just repetition really and doing both "point to the red one" and "tell me what colour this one is." It took a few weeks to click and then we used a book to learn others like pink, purple, brown, gold, silver.

MrsA2 Sat 12-Mar-16 07:09:37

My 19 month old knows loads of the colour words but can't use them in the context. Wheh I ask her "what colour"'she just loves to shout "ORANGE" each time smile

cosmicglittergirl Sat 12-Mar-16 07:25:10

My two and half year old has only very recently become better at understanding what colour is; something I was surprised at to be honest as there's a lot of exposure to which colour is which etc at her nursery and in books, but I suppose it's a concept that takes time.
She learnt them best from songs on YouTube...

LastGirlOnTheLeft Sat 12-Mar-16 07:28:33

Look at Busy Beavers on YouTube.

skankingpiglet Sat 12-Mar-16 07:42:32

I wouldn't be worried yet, they all have different things they are interested in. DD is also 21mo. She is just starting to put 3 words together, and is adding 1 or 2 new words a day on average to her vocabulary. She can follow fairly detailed instructions. However she's incredibly hit and miss with colours. She sometimes understands when I ask for the red block, or ask which one it is, but not always, and has yet to name any colours herself except in a parrot fashion when I point and name. I'm not worried, it'll come.

BrightandEarly Sat 12-Mar-16 16:34:35

So funny to stumble across this thread.

My DS is 23 months and we've been slightly surprised I suppose that he doesn't get colours at all, in spite of the fact that with talking, general understanding and counting he's doing really well.

Just in the last few days though I've noticed that when I ask him what colour something is, he'll enthusiastically call out a random, mostly incorrect colour, but when I ask him to pick up the red pen (or something like that), he usually gets it right.


Not sure what to make of that but I'm sure it's too early to worry!

mrsmugoo Sat 12-Mar-16 16:55:32

Mine has totally nailed colours but numbers haven't clicked at all yet. He can count to 10 verbatim but cannot tell me how many fingers I'm holding even if it's two. And he doesn't understand "pass me 3 grapes" etc...

They all just do things at their own rate!

QOD Sat 12-Mar-16 17:34:29

My dd and I did that and then at nearly 2 we discovered The Wiggles
2 years of Murray instead of Red, Anfunny instead of Blue ..

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