Learning About Colors

 Visual Discrimination: Color

Imagine what a young child’s mind processes… just learning to identify and name objects in the environment, and distinguish among human faces and voices. It’s quite impressive! Learning about colors can help the child to be more specific when describing an item; but, learning color names is complicated, because there are so many variations of one color!  At any one time, people, objects and nature … everything in our environment … can have multiple hues.  An object or animal has a specific name and shape… a cat and a lion are two different shapes and sizes;  BUT… what color does a child identify as blue?  (The varying colors of the sky? Water? One of these two blue containers? The blue on a package? A piece of clothing?) This can be very confusing to a young child! Learning about colors is a visual discrimination activity, but may take some time because they have not established the idea of primary colors. Talk about colors, and identify them.   Say things like, “The bear is brown.”    “I see a tall tree.  The leaves on the tree are green.”  “Can you find the ball that is red?”  Sometimes it helps to name the object, and then add the color word. Sorting activities, like matching colors… without naming objects, is a good visual discrimination activity. Be patient… lots of repetition and practice helps…but naming colors is a very complicated task!

Fisherman’s Warf , Eastern Passage, NS

The easiest way is to begin with one color at a time.

  • Talk  about colors. Remember to name the object and then identify the color.
  • Look for things in the environment that are a specific color. Find another item that is the same color and, if possible, put them beside each other. Brainstorm things that can be the color that you are talking about.

Match the Color!slide8

  • Ask the child to find the matching color using objects, crayons, markers, etc..
  • Match a crayon to the color word.  Draw two pictures where the main color matches a specific color word . Encourage creative thinking and reflection. Say, “Tell me about your work.”
  • Encourage the students to orally add color words to a descriptive sentence. (i.e.  We have a big dog. He is (color).)


Peg the Matching Color – 3 pegs per card

  • Using the corresponding color “peg cards”… find three objects that match the main color word & picture.  Talk about how orange and red are two different colors.  Ask, “Why?” “Tell me why did you not pick the octopus.  How is it different?”


Sort the colors!

Sing a Color Song ♬ 

Check out this resource!slide49

Color Matching Printable Activities –  Also available in SASSOON Font. 

Science at work!

Eyedropper, food coloring and a white paper towel

  • Mix some red, yellow, and blue food coloring with water. Give your child an eye dropper and some white paper towel.   Let your child use the eye dropper,  and experiment with one color at a time.  What happens when it goes on the paper towel?  Say, “Look at the big spot that is blue!”  “I like the red color.”
  • Encourage your child to “experiment with the colors”. What happens if you mix red and blue?  (purple) What if blue and yellow combined? (green)  Look, I made orange with red and yellow

Whole milk, tin pie pan, dawn dish soap and liquid food coloring.

  • Put some milk in the bottom of a tin pie pan.
  • Drop some food coloring into different areas of the milk.
  • Add Dawn dish soap to 3 spots about equal distance apart around the outside of the dish.
  • Watch the dish soap cut through the fat of the milk and blend the colors together!

Other Activities

  • In a store: Talk about the items you are purchasing.  “I need that red box of crackers.”  “Can you find the green apples?” “Thank you for finding the blue socks!”
  • In the parking lot: Find 2 cars that are the same color! Can you find a car the same color as our car?
  • Clothing: What is your favorite color?  Can you find a shirt, pants , or socks that have that color?   Find your brown socks. Please put your blue pants into the hamper.
  • In the classroom: At dismissal or to line up say: “Everyone wearing green may line up.”  “Anyone wearing blue may go and get your things.”
  • With a box of crayons: Color on a blank piece of paper.  Talk about the colors, shapes,  and lines. Find three crayons that are shades of one color (i.e. green) and then add a forth crayon.  Ask your child to sort the crayons to find the odd color.

Have fun!


Coloring has long been a preschool activity, with many adults now coloring as mindful meditation.  Whether your child colors “within the lines,” or just adds random marks to the page…. he/she is expressing himself, and may even be caught up in the moment!

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. Large population-based research studies have indicated that the practice of mindfulness is strongly correlated with greater well-being and perceived health. This is applicable to society at large as well as specific settings such as workplaces and schools.   Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness

Through observations of coloring activities, you will gain insights into Fine Motor Control, attention to detail, and dedication to task.  All children are unique, and will develop at varying rates!


Check out these FREE Valentine’s Day Cards!

Color, draw, write and Create your own card!

4 cards and three different formats.

If you would like more variety, 12 cards are available as independent sets, in three different formats, or as a money-saving BUNDLE.  (Click on the resource!)

Set 1: ½ page folded cards (with a blank page for a personal picture or message)

Set 2: ¼ page folded cards (with a blank page for a personal picture or message)

Set 3: ¼ page front to back cards (print on cover-stock)

BUNDLE: includes all of the above.


Also available in SASSOON Font!

Enjoy a colorful day!                                

Laurie @ Primarily Learning


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