Do you ever wonder why the teaching of colours is often emphasised in the preschool years? Well, the ability to identify colours is considered a significant indicator of a child’s cognitive development. When children learn about colours, they are developing their visual perception, which is the ability of the brain to correctly interpret what the eyes see. This ability to recognize visual cues forms the foundation for many other areas of later learning – such as maths and science. As a parent, you might be wondering, at what age and how should I start teaching colours to my children? To answer this question, it is important to first understand how a child’s colour vision develops.
Research has found that in the first few months of life, a newborn baby sees the world primarily in shades of black, grey and white. In other words, babies are born with monochrome vision.  Your child’s ability to see colour only starts to develop at four months old. At this age, you might also notice that they have a preference for bright primary colours, as those colours tend to be more obvious and hence stimulates their brain more. Around the age of six to eight months, a child’s colour vision is usually well developed. By three to four years, your child can begin to recognise and name a few basic colours.
It is important to bear in mind, however, that no child is the same. Kids learn colours at their own pace. That said, it is a good idea to start teaching the concept of colours from an early age. As soon as your child reaches the big milestone of turning one year old, you can start introducing the concept of colours to them. This is generally the age when learning colours will start to make sense to them.
Surrounded by a world of colour, there are tons of opportunities to discuss colours to your child. But before you start introducing colours to them, below are a few considerations to take note of:
Apart from the above, perhaps it is also equally important to consider how to make it an overall fun experience for your children. This means considering the external mediums or tools available to support you in your teaching process. One of the best ways for young children to learn colours is through hands-on interactive activities. From colour puzzles and card games, to colouring mats, there are plenty of fun activities to help you make the most out of your children’s learning experience.
More importantly, hands-on activities aim to provide a structured interactive platform for learning. They serve as an alternative platform to learning through everyday routine activities. Due to the higher engagement levels that hands-on activities offer, it helps children retain information better.
Our Button Nose reusable silicone colouring mat is an example of a highly interactive learning medium for kids. Their mats are uniquely designed to include various educational themes infused with fun and relatable story characters to engage children. This allows kids to interactively and imaginatively play with their drawings while learning their colours!
These hands-on interactive activities also provide an array of benefits to your children’s well-being and development:
1. Safe for children’s eye
While using online video games and applications to teach colours has been getting increasingly popular among parents, this often requires kids to spend excessive time in front of computer screens. Engaging in too much screen time can be detrimental to your children’s eye health. A recent study done in 2019 found that children who were exposed to more than three hours of screen time per day had an increased risk of developing myopia (short-sightedness).
Using offline tools such as colouring mats or puzzles can be an equally effective and engaging alternative to digital screens. Furthermore, the portable feature of Our Button Nose colouring mats, allows you to keep your children entertained while dining outside or enjoying outdoor activities together. Importantly, they are a much friendlier and safer option for your children’s eyes.
2. Boosts creativity and fine motor skills
Engaging in hands-on activities also promotes kid’s creativity and improves their fine motor skills. Our Button Nose mats are not only meant for colouring; they are educational and tell a story with each scene. Parents are encouraged to guide children through each character and where possible, relate it back to the children’s classics of storytelling.
You can also encourage your kids to create their own storyline using the characters, which is a sure way to keep their creative juices flowing! Colouring also provides the opportunity for children to develop fine motor skills such as finger gripping and hand-eye coordination, all of which are essential for their developmental process.
As compared to learning through digital screens or worksheets which are often performed on an individual basis, hands-on interactive activities can increase the bonding time between a parent and child. Parents can leverage on the interactive features to initiate conversations with their children and learn more about their perspective. This can lay the foundation towards fostering a positive-parent child relationship.
If you are looking for a fun and interactive medium to support your teaching of colours, Our Button Nose colouring mats can be a great starting point! Our Button Nose advocates play-based learning and their products are designed to capture every child’s imagination and provide them with a fun learning experience. The markers that complement the mats are also non-toxic, which makes it a super safe medium for kids! Eager to get your kids started on their colourful journey with Our Button Nose? Check out their colouring mats and bundle kits.
 Zuckerman BS, Augustyn M, Caronna EB. The Zuckerman Parker Handbook of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health; 2011.
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