Many parents wish to give their children the beginnings of an education before they ever set foot in a classroom. There are many things that parents can help their children to learn. Numbers and letters can be learned early and will help them with reading and math skills later on in life. Another fun and useful thing that any parent can teach his/her child is how to differentiate colors. Young children learn best by interaction with adults or peers and by combining repetition with sight/language links.
Colors in Everyday Life
Television shows can be used to teach color. However, it will take longer for a child to learn how to differentiate colors if there is no actual interaction involved. If a child is sitting in front of a television which talks to him/her, he/she is less likely to learn than if an adult or sibling watches the show with him/her and asks questions about the various colors. Any food that has color to it can also be used to teach color. . Landscape can be also used to teach color. For instance, during the fall a parent can point out how the leaves have changed colors from green to brown, red and gold. An important milestone is when a child can differentiate between two shades of the same color rather than thinking he/she is looking at two different colors. It’s not that hard to find teaching opportunities in everyday life, one just has to look for them.
Once a child begins to recognize colors and tries to find different ones on his/her own, it is important to encourage him/her when he/she gets them right. Praise is good and rewards are even better. It is important to note that rewarding a child solely with food can lead to an unhealthy attitude towards food and eating. Children can be rewarded by hugs, kisses, games and attention as well. It is vital that the parent links the good behavior to the reward, making a statement such as:
“You know your colors so well, you deserve (insert reward)!”
Teaching young children can be a fun and rewarding experience. It is easier for a child to learn when a parent finds ways to re-enforce the learned material by repetition and uses links between verbal expression and visual stimulate. Young children learn things at an extremely rapid rate and teaching them is all about guiding the course of their learning.