How to Teach Kids Colors

Colorful pencils help you teach kids colors

When young kids go to any formal education, their knowledge of colors is checked. Colors are an easy way to check learning and it is possible to start teaching the colors at a very early age. Kids as young as 2 years old can learn their colors and build good learning connections in their brain. The earlier they start, the better it is for their learning abilities. So how to teach kids colors?

It is very important to understand the process of learning when teaching kids abstract concept like colors. For kids to recognize a color, they need to have accumulated hundreds of information pieces that help them define that color concept.

The understanding of what this thing is not is greatly helpful in forming a concept. We call these “negative examples”. When you show a kid an apple and say the color is green, it is possible for the kid to remember the shape of the apple and think this is the meaning of green. You must also show an apple that is not green.

Through our examples, we need to help our kids learn that color has no shape. Green can be an apple, a fabric or a leaf.

Through our examples, we need to help our kids learn that color has no size. Green can be small, it can be big and it can be huge.

Through our examples, we need to help our kids learn that color can be seen outside or inside. Green can be on a tree and it can be in the closet.

Through our examples, we need to help our kids learn that color can have different textures. Green can be smooth (apple) or rough (grass).

Do you get the idea?

Every time you show your kids something green but with a different quality to it, you refine and enhance their understanding of the concept. The more examples you expose your kids to, the better they will understand the concept.

Teaching kids colors is an easy task because we do not really need to buy anything to do it. We only need persistence and repetition, two free skills that will get you a long way as a teacher.

How to teach kids colors

  1. When you show something, say a red balloon, use the word “color” together with the name of the object. Instead of saying “this is red”, it is better to say “this is a balloon and its color is red”.
  2. Do not test your kids before you are done teaching. It will put them off and prevent them from learning.
  3. When teaching kids colors, remember that receptive language comes before expressive language. Kids will be able to point out the right color long before they can say its name. At the beginning of the process, ask them to pick up all the blue pieces. If they do not know, show them a few, until they catch on.
  4. Stick to the main colors – Red, Blue, Yellow, Black and White – and only later add the other colors.
  5. It is better to dedicate time to each color separately. Having “Green week” or “Blue week” is wonderful and works magic in teaching the colors. Usually, when teaching colors over a whole week, the concept is learned very well. As I said before, the more you repeat it, the better it is and if you do it over one week, it is easy to reach high numbers of experiences and exposure to one color.
  6. Experiencing colors in different ways helps carve the concept in the brain. When learning colors, kids can experience the colors through all their senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, touch – the more experiences they get, the easier it is to remember. Be creative and come up with unusual ideas for how to teach kids colors.

84 ideas for teaching kids colors

  1. Drops on a leafIn the week of a color, get your kids to dress in clothes of that color
  2. Make jelly in the week’s color
  3. Use plates in the week’s color
  4. Teach your kids to wrap gifts with gift wrap of the week’s color
  5. Use cups in the week’s color
  6. Put a bit of food color in their bath tab or just buy bubble bath in color (it contains food color anyway)
  7. Let your kids cut out paper in the week’s color
  8. When teaching a color, bring cordial in that color to drink that week
  9. Make muffins with a bit of food color on that particular day
    If you are thinking by now about the effects of food colors, just buy a natural one and relax about it. Unless your kids are seriously allergic to food colors, using small amounts will make no difference to their health, but it will be very good for their learning.
  10. When teaching red, eat strawberries
  11. On black week, eat licorice
  12. On black week, make licorice spiders
  13. On brown week, eat chocolate (yum)
  14. Ask your kids to find something in the color you are learning that week in your wardrobe
  15. On each color week, ask kids to cut out items in that color from a magazine
  16. On blue week, play with water and talk about living things in the sea
  17. Make been bags in the color you are learning this week
  18. On yellow week, eat mangos
  19. When teaching blue, let kids play with a blue highlighting pen
  20. When you teach the colors, say “yellow like the sun”, “blue like the sky”, “brown like your skin” and try to stick to the same examples
  21. On black week, eat blackberries, black sesame or poke the little black seeds off Turkish bread
  22. When teaching red, bring lipsticks and give the kids to play with them and make kiss stamps on paper
  23. On green week, eat green apples and cucumbers
  24. On brown week make cookies with the kids
  25. When teaching orange, eat oranges and carrots
  26. When teaching green, go outside and collect green leaves
  27. When teaching yellow, do activities about the sun
  28. On red week, eat watermelon and tomatoes
  29. When teaching yellow, use a yellow highlighting pen
  30. If you have a bed sheet in the color you are teaching this week, use it as a tent, a robe or a picnic cloth
  31. On white week, make origami from white paper
  32. Use nail polish in the color of the week. Kids love nail polish and you can find nail polish in any color you want
  33. Get hair spray in the week’s color
  34. When teaching red, talk about love and do activities with love hearts
  35. On white week, cook rice with the kids
  36. On each color week, play “I spy with my little eye something in the color…”
  37. On brown week, make brownies
  38. On yellow week, make lemonade with the kids
  39. On brown week, paint with different shades of mud
  40. On yellow week, buy a pineapple to eat
  41. On brown week, play with makeup
  42. On each color week, use stickers in that color
  43. On green week, eat lettuce and green grapes
  44. On red week, eat red capsicum
  45. On pink week, go out and get some pink fairy floss
  46. When teaching the colors, sit with your kids, look at magazines and talk about things in different colors
  47. On red week, eat cherry tomatoes
  48. On red week, ask your kids to find all the red Lego parts (do the same with each color week)
  49. On each color week, bring spray paint to play with – always supervise your kids and do it outside the house
  50. When teaching colors, bring books about colors from the library
  51. On green week, talk about nature and plants and plant something in your garden patch
  52. On brown week, talk about sand and play in the sand pit
  53. When teaching colors, let your kids paint with finger paint of that week’s color
  54. On brown week, put potatoes in water and watch them grow
  55. When teaching color, you can paint salt with Tempura paint (it is a powder you add to the salt and it colors the salt)
  56. In green week, use a green highlighting pen
  57. Bring home ice cream in the color you are learning that week
  58. On green week, eat avocados
  59. On yellow week, do art and craft about bananas
  60. On yellow week, eat bananas
  61. Make dough in the color of the week and allow your kid to play with it
  62. Bring different shades of the same color and ask the kids to draw with many colors of red, many colors of green, etc
  63. After teaching black and white separately, have a black-and-white day
  64. On black and white day, teach about zebras
  65. On black and white day, teach about cows
  66. On black and white day, bring black and white fabric to play with
  67. On black and white day, use cut out black paper to paste on white paper
  68. On gray week, talk about gray clouds
  69. On gray week, do activities about elephants
  70. On gray week, do activities about rhinoceroses
  71. On gray week, watch “Dumbo”
  72. When you are done with all the colors, teach silver and gold and explain that they are also kinds of metals
  73. When teaching silver and gold, do activities with coins
  74. Eat chocolate coins on gold week
  75. Water colorsWhen teaching silver and gold, show kids jewelry in silver and gold
  76. Use glitter on silver week
  77. When you have finished all the colors, do activities about the rainbow – stories, drawings, science…
  78. When you have finished all the colors, replay some of the games, like “I spy” using different colors
  79. When you have finished all the colors, work on mixing them – mix the dough and see what colors will comes out
  80. When you have finished all the colors, mix cordials and see what color comes out
  81. When you have finished all the colors, talk about chameleons
  82. When you have finished all the colors, make nice mocktails (“virgin” cocktails) with cordial and fruit juices in transparent glasses to enjoy all the colors
  83. When you have finished all the colors, play “catch” with the bean bags and call out the colors of what you are throwing or catching
  84. When you have finished all the colors, eat bread or cake with colorful sprinkles

Remember, the more you talk about colors, the easier it will be for your kids’ brains to store the information and later use it.

Kids do not learn their colors from the air. They are exposed to colors and learn them from their parents and teachers. Home is a wonderful place to teach kids colors. The earlier your kids know their colors, the more connections they have in their brain and the more advanced they will be.

Colorful teaching,

  • tulip

    thankyou so much, it was very informative

  • Ronit Baras

    Hi Tulip,

    I am happy you find it informative.

    come again, there are plenty of informative articles in here

    All the best
    Family Matters

  • white gold ring

    Well, nice buddy… Someone will love this article if I tell her about this. She’s really interested in this topic. Thanks again…


  • Ronit Baras


    I hope your friend liked the topic
    by the way, I am not a buddy, I am a shilla

    Happy day

    The Motivational Speaker

  • Ronit Baras

    Garden Miser,

    Thanks for digging

    Happy day

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  • Najme

    Thanks alot.It was really useful.I have a 3 year-old girl whom I’ve been teaching the colors to since she was 2 and half and yet can’t tell the difference between red or yellow.I’m worried she might be color blind. Or is it just early for her?

  • Ronit Baras


    3 years old is a bit too early to think that.
    It is very rare for girls to be color blind but you can have a red week and not mention the yellow at all for the whole week. It will help her mind separate between the two colors.

    It could be that the process of learning the colors red and yellow were mixed. It is not a sign that something is wrong.

    Start with receptive language.
    have a red week and put Lego pieces in many colors and ask her to give you only the red ones – this is a receptive language. she dose not need to speak it but to pick the right color. if she can pick the right ones, that is a sign she knows the color.

    good luck!
    try again every 3 month


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  • marisol oliva

    really really interesting and helpful. tks guys for sharing! i’m from Guatemala and your help is invaluable.

  • ronitbaras

    Marisol Oliva, 

    We are happy to know that our article as helpful for you. 


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  • Suhana

    thanxs alot i will surely try out your ideas

  • Adam

    Wow, those are some really creative ideas. I like the idea of having color weeks and days. I’ve never thought about that. I think giving kids something real and tangible to associate a color with is a great idea. I teach kids occasionally and I often use videos like this:… . They usually like the pretty pictures and it helps to reinforce the colors.

  • ronitbaras

    It is not common for girls to be colorblind. 
    try a week of red and after 3-4 weeks introduce the yellow.

  • ronitbaras


    I love the video. 
    I think kids love videos and you are right, when they can touch something red, eat something red, smell something red the memory is “thicker”


  • ronitbaras

    Thanks. Come again!

  • Carmen

    nice information…very meaningful to teach color in that way:  color week

  • Kolobok

    There are many iPhone, iPad and Android games for small kids that teach them colors, shapes etc. Personally, I found this game to be very effective: “Baby Learns Colors” but there are many others and some a free to try.

  • ronitbaras

    It works really well. 
    Kids going through the colors weekly , remember it better

  • ronitbaras

    I agree, technology can help in teaching kids colors. 
    We must be careful not to overuse technology. 

  • Shannon Lee Manke
  • maryam

    excellent, thank you for helpful ways of teaching

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  • lisa

    Very helpful thanks.
    Best book I found to learn colors and shapes is on Amazon called
    “Fast and Easy learning for Children – Colors and Shapes”
    My daughther was having problems until I got this book. Then she learned very fast.
    I even brought a few copies for friends.

  • ronitbaras

    Thanks Lisa.

    I think books are great way to teach many things.
    I hope parents who struggle will search for this book.

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