Colors with Sensorial materials

Colors are … in things we eat, things we wear, things we play …. in everything and everywhere.

For a child, learning colors is an important complex cognitive development process.

Children start noticing colors even in their infant years… formal recognition and naming correctly sometimes develops fully only in preschool years.

Children may say names of colors like red, blue etc, but may identify them differently. Practice with hands on materials and more like in daily activities in a casual manner is the best approach to encourage learning of colors for children.

For example, while eating snack, we could say, “Look strawberry is red, the leaf on the top is green”. “Chocolate milk is brown”.

Similarly, while getting ready after bath, we could offer a choice and ask the child, “would you like to wear a blue shirt or red shirt today?”

I remember playing this game of colors with my friends, when I was a little girl. It was called ” Crocodile and river of colors”. We drew 2 horizontal lines on the dirt or sidewalk from one end to another leaving gap in between and pretended that to be the river. One friend was picked to be the “crocodile”. He/she stood in the “river” or space in between the 2 lines. All the other friends stood outside the “river” next to one line.

The game would go like this :

Everyone: Crocodile, crocodile Can we please cross the river?

Crocodile: No

Everyone: Please

Crocodile: Ok , fine. Only if you have the color “Green”(or any color of their choice)

Everyone would look at their clothes or hair ties or socks or shoes and see if they had the “chosen” color. If they did, that person can walk casually and cross the river.

If someone didn’t have the “chosen” color, then they would try to cross the “river” as fast as they could without being “caught” by the “crocodile”.

It was really fun, but was also a great activity to learn colors.

Make it fun, encourage children to appreciate colors in the food, clothes, nature,toys etc… everywhere…….and in everything around them. Do simple color based experiments like skittles in water, milk and food coloring, color mixing etc. Explore art projects using different tools and techniques. Make a rainbow snack, everyone in the family dress up in a specific color for the day and take a family picture, talk about different colors in the traffic light, stop sign, fire hydrant etc….. the list is endless.

Colors are the smiles of nature – Leigh Hunt

Check out for some simple activities to do with your child to help them learn colors.

Published by

Geetha Nagarajan

My name is Geetha. I was introduced to Montessori as a parent and then choose it to be my career. I have over 13 years of experience in a Montessori primary classroom. I have a Masters Degree in Plant Sciences from India and a Masters in Educational Leadership from UNT (Denton, TX) and my Montessori Early childhood certification from American Montessori Society (AMS).

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