My friend Ali from Wiggle Room is here today, sharing a funny look at exploring colors with toddlers. Check her site out to laugh along with her as she describes her adventures in parenting – including early pregnancy, choosing a baby name, and pregnancy styles.
The Rainbow Connections
My toddler daughter knows her colors cold. Before she was identifying “Mommy” and “Daddy,” she was pointing to her world and saying “Bwoo” and “Lello.” My husband and I credit this to the fact that we are both art teachers, but it probably has more to do with a YouTube video my parents showed her on loop involving colorful singing butterflies. Here are five ways we used color to help her enjoy the world around her.
1. Color me Brad
Color proved to be a great way for our daughter to identify important people in her life. Her Nana was “green shirt” because of her frequent wearing of green. Her aunt always wore a red scarf around her for easy recognition. Our daughter recognized the doorman from his red tie, her cousin from her purple lollipop, and most of her stuffed animals by their fur designation. This game only became awkward when she ID-ed our very spray-tanned neighbor as being “orange.”
2. Reading Rainbow
My daughter loved reading…until suddenly she didn’t. To recapture her interest in books, we turned the library into a colorful scavenger hunt. We would tell her to find a book that was blue. Or had pink stripes on it. Or had a yellow circle on the front. She eagerly pulled books off the shelf, and occasionally let us read them to her. And we all learned as a family that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is, in fact, gray.
3. Taste the Rainbow
My daughter is what I might call a “terrible eater” (usually while I am scraping her squash soup off the radiator). My husband and I have tried to use color recognition to excite her about food choices. “Would you like the green beans, or the orange carrots?” She won’t eat either, but can usually identify the food by its color as she spits it across the room.
4. One Sock, Two Sock, Red Sock, Blue Sock
I also like to use color-matching games to trick our daughter into being helpful with menial tasks. For example, after washing her clothes, I lay out all her socks and have her bring me the two that are the same color. Which is great until we realize that half the socks no longer have matches. Then it also becomes a lesson about counting, and the unreliability of household appliances.
5. Mellow Yellow
My daughter views her crayons as little tiny dolls with pointy heads. She carries them around, role-plays with them, and seems to assign them personalities. Which gives us a great opportunity to help her associate color with feelings (and save money on having to purchase actual dolls for her).
“The blue crayon is feeling sad,” I tell her.
Always the pragmatist, my daughter replied, “Because blue is broken?” (It was).
“Sure. And the red crayon feels angry,” I continued.
My daughter looked at both crayons. “Red is angry because blue is broken.”
Makes perfect sense.
Ali Solomon is an art teacher and freelance cartoonist in NYC. She lives with her husband, toddler daughter, and newborn baby in a state of blissful lunacy. You can find more of her ridiculous nonsense at Wiggle Room or @AliCoaster