The Color of Things
Column by Tutu and Me
Colors have a profound effect on our lives. They can bring about emotional responses that trigger sensory memories. Our language is full of colorful connotations. A green traffic signal means to go. Our bank balance can be in the black, meaning that we have a balance, or in the red meaning that we have no balance. We could be feeling blue because we lost our job. Colors symbolize countries, schools, families, cultures and causes.
Color preferences can begin for young children even before the age of one. Babies have been observed reaching for the same color block, book, toy or food item. Young children choose and can name their favorite color between the ages of two and four years.
At Tutu and Me Traveling Preschool, we add colors and color words throughout the school year in various learning areas, such as Playdough, painting and indoor art. We also strive to correlate color to our thematic focus, such as, red and green at Christmas, and pastels in spring.
Try This at Home:
• Start by finding out what your child’s favorite color seems to be. Teach your child that color name first. It will then be easier for your child to match, and discriminate that favorite color with other colors.
• As your keiki dresses, talk about the colors of the clothes worn for that day. Make sure that your child has clothes in his/her favorite color.
• As your keiki puts a colored food in his or her mouth (e.g., colored goldfish cracker) name the color.
• Play “I Spy” color games with your keiki while walking, traveling, shopping, and waiting in the doctor’s office, etc. Say, “I spy something yellow,” and let your child guess what the object is.
• Buy or borrow picture books on colors. There are many good ones.
• As you plant seeds in your garden with your child, ask him/her to guess what color the plant, flower, fruit or vegetable will be.
• Visit the painting easel every time you come to preschool. Let your child mix primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and discover the world of secondary colors.
Remember, expanding young children’s awareness to the world of colors is a relatively easy process that pays high dividends when they reach formal school age.
Contributions from Tutu and Me Traveling Preschool, a program of Partners in Development Foundation. Tutu and Me is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.