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When Do Kids Learn About Colors and Shapes?

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Although all kids are different, it’s always helpful to know what milestones to look out for, and when. In this article, we’ll explore when young children begin to recognize colors and shapes. 

When Can I Expect My Child to Start Learning Colors and Shapes?

Babies’ visual-processing development begins with colors and shapes. 

Basic color identification is one of the important developmental milestones in the first year of life. Around four months, babies begin to see colors. Parents will probably notice their infant gravitating toward brighter hues — after all, that’s why baby toys are usually so colorful. Early exposure to these colors helps babies recognize colors as they grow. 

Just like the other stages of cognitive development, the time it takes to learn colors varies from one child to the next. Generally, though, babies start to recognize colors when they’re 18 months or two years old. 

By the time they turn three, a critical milestone, most children know at least one color, and multiple colors at age four. Of course, some kids learn colors much earlier and some a bit later. 

When a child begins to recognize and learn colors, he or she also begins to develop the ability to identify relative sizes — like “big” and “small” — and shapes.

Shape and Color Activities Parents Can Do With Their Kids at Home

Certain sensory activities can help strengthen the neural pathways in toddlers’ brains

Teaching Shapes

Sorting shapes is a great way to boost coordination and help develop thinking skills. Help babies by pointing out and naming circles, triangles, and squares; encourage toddlers to name shapes on their own and match them up with ones that look similar. 

Foam shapes are also great. Look for an assortment of colors, sizes, and thicknesses, plus common shapes like circles, squares and rectangles, triangles. Toddlers can organize the pile by shape, color, or size; say, first by finding the squares, then by finding the circles, and so on. You’ll be amazed at how this can capture your toddlers’ attention — and just how busy and engaged they’ll be. 

Teaching Color

Color-sorting is another good option. Grab a set of different-colored rings, then pick up a ring and name its color aloud. Set it down, name the color again, and ask your child to find it. 

Beads and empty bottles or cans are also great tools for learning colors. Cover the vessels’ exterior with pieces of red, green, yellow, and blue construction paper. Grab some beads in the same colors and ask your toddler to sort the proper beads into each can. 

How Vivvi Focuses on Key Areas of Early Childhood Development

At Vivvi, we specialize in the early learning and healthy development of young children. We use an inquiry-based learning model that cultivates children’s interests.

Children’s day-to-day environment is vital to their learning. Toddlers need regular opportunities to participate in activities and play with objects that spark curiosity and teach new skills. That’s why it’s important to integrate colors and shapes into any toddler classroom. Vivvi teachers help children reach their developmental milestones through carefully crafted activities, toys, and books. They’re supporting children to identify new and familiar colors and shapes every day.

For more information on the Vivvi Learning Model or to learn more about our New York City campuses, contact our team today. We’re hosting virtual tours and open houses every week.

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