One of the cognitive skills your toddler will learn in his 2nd year is recognizing and identifying colors. Children are capable of learning colors starting around 18 months old.
Color matching and sorting (putting the red toy with all the other red toys) are the simplest forms of learning colors. They will occur first, along with recognizing and choosing colors when asked for them (handing you the red toy when you say give me the red toy). Lastly comes naming colors (being able to say red when asked what color is this?).
This activity works on color matching and sorting which are the first color activities your toddler will be able to do. We used MegaBlocks, but you can really use any blocks or toys that have different colors. However, if you don’t have a set of MegaBlocks, or don’t know what they are yet, get them! Your toddler will have a blast building and creating with them from one year old all the way through preschool.
So go ahead and let them have fun with the blocks as they learn their colors!
Activity Sneak Peak:
- 1 minute set-up time
- No cleanup
- Works on color recognition and matching
- For 18+ months
What You Need:
What To Do:
- Using Painter’s Tape, tape down pieces of construction paper for the colors of blocks or toys that you’ll be using. If using the basic set of MegaBlocks you’ll need red, yellow, blue, and green.
- Demonstrate to your child how to do the activity. Show them that one at a time you should place the corresponding color block onto the paper.
- Let them place each block on the paper and match the colors, giving them guidance as necessary.
- To add language, have them say the color as they pick it up or repeat you as you say it. You can also call out a color and have them pick that one up.
- To make the activity easier, you can use less colors. Try only two at a time and make sure they are contrasting colors, for example, just red and yellow and not blue and green (since those are closer in color). You can also start with a few blocks on each paper so they see a lot more colors to match on there.
- For an increased challenge, add more colors or even colors in which there is no paper for. Also, you can have them tell you something that is that color like blue sky or green grass.
Skills that this activity addresses:
This is a fun activity that addresses a variety of skills. For this color sorting and matching learning activity, the following skills are being strengthened for your toddler:
- Language/Vocabulary: Hearing and talking about different objects (color names, paper, blocks)
- Cognition: Learning and understanding new concepts (sort, match)
- Multi-sensory learning: using the whole body as a hands-on approach to learning
- Visual Scanning: Locating the colors that they need to match.
Ways to incorporate cognition and language:
You really can and SHOULD incorporate cognition (knowledge) and language into any activity you are doing with your little one. Just merely talking through the steps that they’re performing will help build their vocabulary and understanding of new words and concepts.
Remember your toddler is constantly listening and absorbing everything around them, including language. Here are a few ways to build cognition and language during this activity:
- Point to the paper and ask, What color is this?
- Have them say or repeat the color that they pick it up.
- Ask them to point to the green paper, blue paper, etc.
- Tell them to name an object that is the same color.
- Work on opposite concepts like on, off, above, below, big, and small
- Vocabulary words such as color, paper, tape, match, sort
Although your child may have the ability to learn their colors around 18 months, it’s not a necessary skill until they are two. So don’t stress over teaching them too much and make learning fun!