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How important is colour in a child’s early life?*

Learning starts from the moment we’re born. But stimulating a child’s mind and helping them develop their awareness are crucial to ensuring that they absorb as much as possible in the early years.

So, what part does learning about colour play in benefiting your child’s development and how can you help them along the way?

Colour and children’s learning

Colour and children’s learning 

A baby is born with monochrome vision. Until around eight months when their colour vision is fully developed, an infant is unable to distinguish the difference between colours. However, by ages three or four, a child can recognise basic shades — and frequent exposure can help strengthen this skill.

The advantages of learning about colours

From around eight months, it’s a good idea to start surrounding a baby with multiple colours to help them recognise and differentiate between various shades. This can help them make colour connections early on in life and experts have said that showing patterns to a baby is important, as it provides visual and cognitive stimulation.

While distinguishing between basic colours is important, it’s also beneficial to expose young children to different shades (e.g. navy and sky blue). Learning these allows children to recognise significant visual hues — such as red as a code for danger. It is useful outside of the curriculum too — for example; knowing the difference between a red and a blue coloured tap.

Once a child can identify different colours, they then should learn how to describe and write it — which improves their speaking and writing skills. Describing an object without saying its colour is difficult!

Aside from education, studies have suggested that colour can affect emotional well being, productivity and behaviour. Some experts claim that:
Blue: encourages creativity and relaxation — but if overused, it can bring the mood down.
Orange: promotes critical thinking and memory retention.
Yellow: boosts mood and excites a child (because of its vibrant appearance).

Considering the right colour for a classroom can also help the teacher, as it can create the ideal atmosphere for controlling a class and raising mood and productivity. Research has shown that colours are more memorable than monochrome too — a bright and colourful classroom makes new learning experiences stick in the mind.

Ways you can help teach kids about colours 

Playground canopies and parasols make excellent props for a fun, visual lesson in colour without the children even realising. Place them over areas of a playground where they’ll catch the sun to create different colourful patterns for the children to enjoy. Pupils can trace shadows of the patterns on the floor with chalk and learn how they move with the sun throughout the day.
If you’re teaching very young children, sensory development is the foundation for all other learning, and you can encourage this with colourful toys and play mats. Research has also highlighted the importance of messy play — where children can take part in unstructured play and get their hands dirty! Let them play with brightly coloured foodstuff, such as jelly, and develop their fine motor skills, too.

These easy and effective lessons will work to boost colour development and help improve the learning of other areas.


*PR Collaboration

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