Fun and Easy Color Activities for Preschoolers
There are so many fun ways for young children to explore color! Color recognition is a very important early language, and math skill. Young children start to differentiate color around 18 months, which is about the same time they are beginning to recognize other attributes such as size and shape.
Although it may seem simple, learning colors is actually quite a complex and involved process as Preschool aged children are learn to identify, match, name, sort, and mix colors.
Many educators and parents start helping young children learn about colors by pointing out colors in day to day conversations. "Sara has a blue cup", "Can you please hand me the yellow crayon?"
Before heading into Kindergarten many older preschoolers are working towards identifying all colors of the rainbow (Primary and Secondary colors), as well as white, brown, pink, and gray. Children that have mastered identifying these colors, will move onto mastering "shades" or color variations (light pink, turquoise, etc). In addition to exposure, and discussing the color attributes of everyday objects, children can build color identification skills by playing fun hands on matching, sorting, and mixing games and activities.
Color matching is one of the first color activities we do with preschoolers, and this helps to create a link between visual clues and words. Color matching helps with visual memory, patterns, and focus. Color matching can be done through lots of hands-on play and exploration. It can be as simple as laying out colored construction paper and having the preschooler go on a hunt for the matching colors.
Learning to sort is an important skill, and we do it all the time as adults. Color sorting is one of the first activities we introduce to preschoolers when they are beginning to learn to sort. It is an essential math skill that our preschoolers need to know, and we can help them by giving them opportunities to explore and play. Color sorting helps our preschoolers with visual perception and critical thinking skills.
One of my favorite things to teach to preschoolers is color mixing. To those little learners, it’s a bit of magic. When we break down the colors to teach them all about mixing colors, they are instantly engaged and can’t wait to learn more. For preschool students, color mixing activities are fun to learn more about colors while mixing science and art.
Preschool students learn best through hands-on exploration, play, and everyday conversation! below, you can find tips for teaching color recognition, and some fun, easy, low-cost color activities that use a multi-sensory approach so your preschool aged students will be engaged while they learn about colors!
Sensory & Science Color Activities
We take in the world around us through our senses, so you can imagine how important sensory exploration is for preschoolers. Exploring colors through science and sensory is an excellent way to keep young learners engaged and having fun while learning about colors. It is an excellent opportunity to talk about the colors they see, the changes occurring and make observations and predictions.
Color Jello Bin- There is something about Jello that kids love! make batches of red, yellow, and blue jello and place them into a sensory bin. Let them feel, touch, and naturally mix the colors.
Color Mixing Sensory Bottles- A science experiment tied in with color mixing is a definite favorite. It is a simple, fun experiment with corn syrup and food coloring (*food coloring for candy non-water based). Preschoolers are fascinated by shaking the bottle and watching the colors mix and separate. It’s also super fun to use with a light table.
Color Rice Sensory Bin- This is one of my favorite sensory bins. You will use food coloring to make multiple rice colors and add different containers or cups into the sensory bin for a simple sorting activity.
Color on the Light Table- DIY Color Lenses and Sorting Translucent objects by color.
Color Water Mixing- You can use food coloring or even Crayola Color Bath Drops to practice “mixing”.
Color Ice Cube Melting- This is a great opportunity to teach about melting and for your preschoolers to observe what is happening to the colors. Add food dye to your ice cubes, and then set them out in a sensory bin. Your student will love exploring the different colors that are created when they melt. You can speed up the process by giving them salt to sprinkle on top of the cubes.
Color Mixing Squishy Bags- A mess-free painting activity where preschoolers can get hands-on experience in mixing colors. Add colors into a bag and allow children to use their hands to mix the colors to create a new one.
Color Changing Flowers- Making flowers change colors is a rewarding way to explore the scientific process. The magic happens over a short period of time leaving just enough space for children to make observations and predictions.
Color Changing LED Lights- A sensory experience using vision, turn off the lights and say the color. A fun and simple group activity.
Color Songs and Books
Songs and books are an essential part of preschool, and these are two excellent ways to teach and reinforce concepts. Music has a significant influence on a young child’s learning, and when concepts are taught in song, children remember the information faster. Color songs are super catchy! Books are an excellent visual for learning colors, and there are a ton of great color books. You can point to each color as you read the book or have the preschoolers get involved with the story, too! You can choose books and create activities that go along with them.
Books (Affiliate Links):
Little Blue and Little Yellow
Mix It Up
Bear Sees Colors
Mixed: A Colorful Story
Brown Bear Brown Bear
White Rabbits Color Book
A Color of his own
Monsters Love Color
How Do Dinosaurs Learn their Colors?
The Day the Crayons Quit
Pinkalicious and rest of Victoria Kann's color books
What Color is Night?
Planting a Rainbow
Check out our Color Song Play List on YouTube!
Colors all around us!
Our world is so incredibly colorful, and everywhere we look, there is color, especially out in nature. When you are outside, take time to talk to preschoolers about all the different colors they see through conversations and hands-on exploring. A nature scavenger hunt is such a fun way to practice their counting and recognition skills. Sorting animals, foods, and objects in the house are easy color activities by simply finding the things around us. You can play a fun game, by announcing a topic (Animals, or Food) and then a color, and name the items you can think of.
Color Arts & Crafts Activities
Preschoolers love art, and it is one of the key ways we teach in early education. Art fosters creativity, learning and enhances motor skills. The opportunities for art are endless, and what better way to reinforce colors than with a fun craft.
Collage- Using different colored tissue paper, construction paper, or old magazines. Have preschoolers make a colorful collage.
Bracelets- Creating their own bracelet is great for patterning and sorting by color while working fine motor skills as they string their pony beads onto pipe cleaners.
Sticker Sorting- To pair another fine motor and sorting activity, gather colorful stickers and have preschoolers sort the stickers by color.
Color Mixing Art Projects- Color mixing projects can be done in a variety of different ways, you can mix paints, make your own color wheel by having the students mix the colors, or use liquid watercolors to test out color mixing. For some added fun you can even practice mixing primary colors to make brown.
Fine Motor & Gross Motor Color Activities
Young children learn the best when having fun, so planning activities that put those muscles to work is a fantastic way to practice colors. When activities require movement and teaching, it’s a definite win-win!
Color Mat Relay-You can create fun gross motor games using simple color mats. Indoors, students can practice skipping, or hopping to different colored mats.
Cake Walk- You can also create a fun "cake walk" inspired activity, while listening to your favorite color songs and using color mats. Once the music stops your students can announce the color they landed on.
Toss Beanbags or Balls into Color Buckets or onto mats- A fun way to practice color matching while working on hand-eye coordination. Get colored beanbags or balls with corresponding colored buckets or bins.
Rainbow Bowling Pins DIY Bottles- This is a fun way to get preschoolers moving. Simply attach a different piece of colored contact paper, construction paper, or even a colored sticker to the water bottle. Have your students announce the colors they knocked down, or practice aiming for a specific color.
Build with Colors: Build structures out of colored blocks, and rainbow toys
Sort Pom Poms into fidget toys: You can easily create a fun color matching activity using pom poms and rainbow colored pop it style fidget toys. Provide your students with a pile of coordinating pom poms to pinch and place inside the matching color spots.
Color Cube Games: Roll a Color Cube (like the one in our real photo color activities set) and Match, Cover or Build.
Sticker Sorting or Collage: Peeling stickers in a great fine motor work out Provide your students with different colored stickers. They can create a rainbow collage or use with color matching activities. This is great for an individual or group activity.
Color Sorting Trays: Adding color objects to sorting trays is a simple color sorting invitation that can be made using various materials. Add using tongs for extra fine motor practice.
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