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How to Teach The Primary Colors to Young Kids

Updated on March 10, 2015
Felisa Daskeo profile image

I am a certified teacher and have been teaching for more than 30 years. I also write fiction and non-fiction stories.

Teaching Colors

Teaching colors is one of the easy tasks for young kids since color is part of their daily life. Mom would say, “Hurry up Mike, get your red shorts in the room.” And I’m sure Mike would go and get the red shorts without any problems. This is because kids know some of the most commonly used colors even without the teacher teaching them.

Colors are easier for kids to remember since most parents would ask them what the color of their shirt is. Another example is that most of the time when parents buy something for kids, they would ask, “What color would you like?” This explains why kids know some colors before they go to school.

There are many activities that you can have when teaching colors to young kids.

First, you have to introduce what a color is. Start by showing something red. I always start with the primary colors which are red, yellow, and blue. Of course, for very young kids, you have to take it one at a time.

Here are red things that you can show kids.

  • a red handkerchief
  • a red apple
  • a red strawberry
  • a red book
  • a red ball
  • a red box
  • a red hair clip
  • a red ribbon
  • a red bag

You can use all things that are red to make the lesson more interesting for the young kids.

More Activities for Teaching Color Red:


Read the rhyme many times for the kids so that they will registered the word red in their mind. Once they memorize the word, it would be easier for them to associate the word to the color.


Create your own riddle for the kids and let them guess.

Here’s an example:

Hide an apple at your back. Say, “I have something here. It is red. It is crunchy. You can eat it. The shape is similar to a heart. It is a red fruit. What is it?”

Not all the kids can guess the thing but you can slowly unlock the difficulties and let them guess again. Giving some clues and encouraging them to guess will help the kids learn more effectively instead of telling them the object.

Show and Tell

Using all the materials that you can avail, let the children tell the object that you show. After each object they identify, ask them the color.


Let the kids color some things that are red. A drawing of an apple is a good example. Kids love apple and they are very familiar with the fruit.

Activity Sheets

Here are some directions for activity sheets that you can use:

  1. Color all the objects red.
  2. Color only the objects that are red.
  3. Color the object that matches the color at the left.
  4. Match the object to its color.

Eating Time

Unless you are advised by the parents of a child not to give certain foods to the child, apple I'm sure is a safe food for kids. Slice the apple into small pieces as I'm sure the kids cannot eat big slices. There maybe kids who may ask for more but most kids can only have a small piece of apple.

It is important that the kids know what they are eating and they also know the color. Some kids might say that the apple in their home is green. You can handle this easily by telling the kids that there are also green apples.


The next color to teach is yellow. Follow the same steps when you taught color red.

Here are yellow things that you can use to teach yellow.

  • ripe banana
  • ripe mango
  • Lego toy
  • yellow car
  • yellow train
  • yellow ribbon
  • picture of yellow sun
  • sunflower
  • yellow box

There are so many yellow things that you can show the kids. You can use the same activities as when you taught red for teaching color yellow to the kids.

Lego Toy

You can use Lego to introduce all the colors. Lego is versatile and you can make a car using all the yellow blocks.

The sky is blue.


The next primary color is blue. Again, you can use the same steps when you taught red to teach color blue.

Here are things that can be blue.

  • blue whale (a toy or picture)
  • blue coat
  • blue shirt
  • blue umbrella
  • blue Lego toy
  • blue train
  • blue slippers
  • blue boots
  • blue crayon
  • blue pen
  • blue bag

Use as many objects as you have to introduce the blue color to the kids before proceeding to the other activities. You can use the same activities that you used when you taught the previous colors.

© 2013 Felisa Daskeo


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