Sorting colors is a quick and simple activity to do with your toddler- they will have so much fun, they will not even notice how much learning is going on!
Although your toddler may not begin retaining all the information, it is essential to begin introducing the color words and repeating them often in order for them to begin remembering. You should be providing several opportunities for your toddler to practice matching, hearing, and repeating color words as the key to learning colors is an abundance of exposure.
Toddlers as young as 18 months old are cognitively able to begin learning colors, and you will notice that your toddler is interested and fascinated by all the different colors and their names- making this age a perfect opportunity for learning.
Color matching (putting the red piece on the red spot) is one of the simplest forms of learning colors. It may occur first, along with recognizing and choosing colors when asked for them (handing you the red piece when you say give me the red piece). Lastly comes naming colors (being able to say red when asked what color is this?).
The great thing about this activity is that it provides an opportunity to practice each of the above skills while having tons of fun! At this age your child still learns primarily through play and play based activities.
What You Need:
What To Do:
1.Cut out circles from the colored paper and place in the bottom of the muffin tin.
2.Give your child an assortment of objects in several varying colors and guide your child to sorting the items by color. You may wish to sort the first few yourself so your child can understand the concept.
3.Be encouraging as your child figures out where each object goes, and offer help when you can without taking over the entire activity.
4. To make the activity easier you can place only 2-3 colored circles in the muffin tin and only 2-3 objects. This may give your child the opportunity to ease into the activity without becoming overwhelmed.
5. If you would like to challenge your child you can increase the amount of colors or even put objects in the pile that do not have a corresponding color in the tin.
Skills Covered In This Activity:
This activity offers the opportunity for several skills to be strengthened and developed as your child plays. Your child will have a blast sorting the objects, identifying the colors, and moving the objects around. Don’t be surprised if they don’t even realize they are learning!
Here are a few of the skills that this activity allows the opportunity to work on:
- 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 Add in Language and Cognition
You should really be adding language in every activity you complete with your children, and you will often add in cognitive practice without even realizing it. By taking the time to explain the steps of the activity, and converse with your child throughout the activity- you are already adding in language.
Ask you child questions throughout the activity:
- What color is this?
- Where is the blue (object)?
- How many yellow (objects) are there?
- Are there more blue or yellow?
Asking these questions and having your child answer will not only add in language practice but will also give your child a chance to practice cognitive skills.
Increasing Fine Motor Practice
While this activity is already strengthening your child’s fine motor- you can also add in several other variations to increase the amount of practice your toddler gets from this activity. It is important for your child to practice and strengthen their fine motor muscles as these are the muscles that your child will use as they learn to draw and write.
- Instruct your child to use their thumb and forefinger to pick up the items (practicing the pincer grasp)
- Let your child pass the objects between hands
- Add tweezers or large tweezers to the play and have your child pick up the objects with them
- Use a variety of large and small objects for even more practice
The important thing is to not stress! Your child will have fun with this activity, and will be learning along the way. The more opportunity your child has to be exposed to these concepts the more likely it is that they will pick them up and be able to retain the information. For another fun color sorting activity – be sure to check out this blog.