The best way to teach your child colours is to make fun play trays and not force the concept of colour. You’ll know when your child is ready to learn colours when they can recognise that different things have different visual changes. Concepts like small and large, bright and dark are the basics of wanting to learn colours and shapes.
The first thing to do is use items around the house and to understand their prior knowledge. What have they already picked up from other toddlers or just in general conversation. You will probably find that your toddler will know one colour easier than another. Use their favourite colour for this activity. I used a rainbow block set to start the conversation and then we walked around the house to find one colour at a time.
You can change these play tray ideas around. I used a colour each week for play dough as the base activity. Then I added things we had around the house and craft cupboard to add texture to the play tray. It’s better to ‘talk talk talk’ about the colour and walk away and let them play. Come back at the end and talk about what they created with play dough and make sure you talk about the colour again.
Pink Play Tray – Week 1
Blue Play Tray – Week 2
Green Play Tray – Week 3
Purple Play Tray – Week 4
Red Play Tray – Week 5
Orange Play Tray – Week 6
Yellow Play Tray – Week 7
How to prepare for your weekly colour unit:
I did not make play dough every week. What I recommend is making a large batch of play dough and dividing it into quarters or thirds. Add items that match the colour for the week and place these containers into a cupboard ready for the following weeks. I always had Wednesday mornings to make time for my toddler, so I made this our weekly time for teaching and learning.
This colour weekly colour unit will help develop fine motor prewriting skills ready for formal education at school.
Written by Sarah Courtney