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Different Activities To Teach Toddlers Colours

Updated on October 17, 2013

Using Learning Themes

I decided to keep myself focussed, I would set a weekly learning theme to do with my toddlers- nothing serious just fun stuff like colours or animals and so on. What that means is for the whole week most of our activities are focussed around our learning theme. This hub will look at the activities we did as part of our Colours Theme.

Learning Colours

Colours is a great learning theme for toddlers. Toddlers can learn colours from anywhere between the ages of 14 months and 4 years old. Don't worry if your little one doesn't recognise colours yet- they don't need to to be able to take part in these activities. If they do great- if they don't this might help them learn but if not they will still have great fun so no worries either way.

Magic Milk Colours

I got the idea for this one off Pinterest. Basically you get a flat bowl and fill it with a bit of milk. Drop in a few drops of food colouring. In a separate pot have some washing up liquid. Get the kids to dip a stick or toothpick in the washing up liquid and then put the stick in the milk. The washing up liquid reacts with the food colouring and allows you to mess around making cool patterns.

Check out the fourlittlepiglets.blogspot.com.au for more info on magic milk and for other great ideas!

Do You Do Learning Based Activities with Your Toddlers?

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Colouring a Rainbow

This one is as simple as it sounds- draw out a rainbow or print a template off the internet and get your kids to colour it in.

They can be creative or accurate depending on what you want. If you want them to be accurate you might like to write the word of the colour in a crayon of that colour- this will help them recognise the colour word and give them a hint.

It is always a good idea to model what you want them to do- you could colour one along with them so they know what to do.

This should be fun so don't get too hung up on whether they do it 'right'.

Witch's Potion

This is a great fun one and involves a bit of science too. Basically it is mixing baking soda with vinegar to create a little fizz 'explosion'. To tie it in to the colour theme I used food colouring. Then to make it even more fun - and not like a boring science experiment- We dressed up as witches and wizards using our Halloween costumes and said a spell before making each 'potion' fizz.

How To:

  1. Take three (or as many as you like) short tumblers and pack the bottom with baking soda- a tablespoon will do
  2. Mix in a few drops of food colouring - I used a different colour for each tumbler
  3. Place the tumblers on a tray -it will be messy
  4. Pour some vinegar in a jug
  5. Dress your little ones up as witches and wizards and gather round the tumblers
  6. Explain you are making witches' magic potions and say a spell "Double, double toil and trouble Fire burn and cauldron bubble"
  7. As you say the spell get your little one to pour some of the vinegar into one of the tumblers. It will fizz up and stream over the top- revealing the colour of the potion.

Lego Colours

For this activity all we did was get out our lego box and build up towers on our lego board keeping all the different colours separate. So when we had finished one section of the board had all the red bricks, one had all the blue bricks and so on.

This activity was great fun and everyone could join in. It helps teach about shades of the same colour as well. From this activity we did a colour sort as well (see below). We also threw a bit of numeracy in here by working out which colour pile had the most bricks on and which pile had the least bricks on.

Lego Colour Sort

After doing the Lego colour piles I quickly made some colour towers and stood them in a row. I then got out the kid's car box (it's full of toy cars) and got them to line the cars up next to the tower of the same colour. This is another great opportunity for some numeracy once the cars are lined up. Obviously you can use anything here it just so happens we have a lot of cars!

Colour Run Around

Runaround games are educational, energetic and great fun. They combine exercise, thinking skills and learning all in one. Basically you stick 2-4 signs up on the wall with the names of different colours.

So in one corner you might have BLUE and in the other corner you might have YELLOW.

You then say different things and the children run to either the blue sign or the yellow sign depending on the colour of the item you said. So if I say banana- they would run to the yellow sign. If I say sky they would run to the blue sign and so on. I have created a free printable version of the game so If you would like it click here.

Colour Families

For this activitiy I taught the children about the primary and secondary colours, what colours are opposites and how to mix the primary colours to make secondary ones. I explained all this through the analogy of families. So For Example:

Primary Colours (Red, Blue and Yellow) are the Mummy and Daddy colours and Secondary Colours (Green, Orange and Purple) are the baby colours. To teach this I drew a diagram with them- see picture. I explained if you have:


  • a Red Mummy and a Blue Daddy you get a Purple Baby
  • a Blue Mummy and a Yellow Daddy you get a Green Baby
  • a Yellow Mummy and a Red Daddt you get an Orange Baby

We then looked at colour opposites. To introduce this I did a little recap on the concept of opposites in general. I then drew the colour opposites:


  • Red is the opposite of Green
  • Blue is the opposite of Orange
  • Yellow is the opposite of Purple


After my lecture on colours I thought I better let them get on with some hands on colour mixing so we got the paints out and I asked them to make a purple baby and they had to remember the two colours and so on.


Apps about Colour

Apps on smart phones or tablets can be a great way for children to learn and also to get familiar with the technology that is inevitably going to be a massive part of their lives. You can usually find lots of free early learning apps to use alongside your learning theme. There are plenty about colour. Here are some I found:

Toddler Colouring Book - For Android Free

Toddler Colors - For Android- Free

Learning Colours for Kids-For Android- Free

Kids Colours (Pre-School)- For Android- £1.23


Toddler Color Lite- For IPhone- Free

Colors Toddler (Pre-School) -For IPhone- £0.69

Books about Colour

Try dig out any books you have about colour- children's books and read them. Most children wil have some colour themed books in their collection but if not you can always go borrow some from your local library. In fact the library is a great resource for when you are doing weekly learning themes as you can go each week and get the books that match your theme.

Songs about Colour

Everyday we have song time. This would be the prefect opportunity to sing some songs about colour. Here are a few songs about colour:

Riding Along on a Big Red Tractor

Riding along on a big red/blue/colour of your choice tractor

Riding along on a bug red tractor

Bringing in the Hay- Yay!


Have your child on your knee and bounce them up and down. On the Yay throw them up in the air. Let them choose a few colours before your arms give in.


I Can Sing a Rainbow

Red and yellow and
Pink and Green
Purple and orange and blue

I can sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow too

As you sing along get your children to point to things in the room of the same colour.


So Many Colours


Red is the color of apples in trees.
Yellow is the color of bumblebees.

Orange is the color of carrots in a line.
Purple is the color of grapes on a vine.

Blue is the color of a great big lake.
Green is the color of a garden snake.

Pink is the color of a little flower.
Brown is the color of a sandcastle tower.

Black is the color of the sky at night.
White is the color of the moon so bright.

Take a moment to look around.
There are so many colors to be found!


Five Little Crayons


Five little crayons, waiting in a row.
The first one said, “I’m red, you know!”
The second one said, “I’m green like a tree.”
The third one said, “I’m blue like the sea.”
The fourth one said, “I’m as yellow as the sun.”
The fifth one said, “Being purple is fun!”
Five little crayons, happy as can be,
Coloring pictures with you and me!


It's nice to use crayons as props during this song.

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great tips for helping our kids learn.

    • Meg Moon profile image
      Author

      Meg Moon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you so much for your kind words stuff4kids

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      This is a fabulous range of great ideas for really engaging your toddlers in color-learning fun!

      Great stuff and really useful to anyone either working with kids in a formal setting or just enriching the learning of their own at home.

      Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      This is a great post for parents to learn how to teach colors. When I taught pre-schoolers, it was always a fun concept to teach as they really loved the songs, books and activities. Voted up++

    • Meg Moon profile image
      Author

      Meg Moon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Ah that's great!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      I was looking for ways to teach my grandson colors. Thanks

    • Meg Moon profile image
      Author

      Meg Moon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks kidscrafts- and you

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      All great suggestions, MegMoon!

      Interesting to see the patterns of the colours in the milk when you add washing up liquid!

      It's a good thing now that there are so many colours with lego. There was a time where the colours were quite limited!

      I love activities where kids can learn while playing :-)

      Have a great weekend!

    • Meg Moon profile image
      Author

      Meg Moon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks Billybuc- I am a teacher too- although I am not working at the moment as I have three little ones of my own to look after- that's probably way I do stuff like this with them, it's the teacher in me- I make sure to always keep it fun though!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm way past the toddler stage of life, but I was a teacher for a number of years, so I was interested in what you had to say. Well done!