As a parent, when you consider how many board books you’ve read with your child reinforcing basic concepts such as “red,” “blue,” and “pink,” it’s rather surprising that our kids don’t catch on faster and know all their colors sooner. Don’t worry though! Your child is most likely not color blind. In fact, having difficulty identifying colors is normal for most young children. Here’s advice for teaching kids colors at a younger age, along with some fascinating information as to why it’s so hard for young kids to grasp color.
Melody Dye reports: Subject 046M, for male, was seated nervously across from me at the table, his hands clasped tightly together in his lap. He appeared to have caught an incurable case of the squirms. I resisted the urge to laugh, and leaned forward, whispering conspiratorially. “Today, we’re going to play a game with Mr. Moo” —I produced an inviting plush cow from behind my back. “Can you say hi to Mr. Moo?”
In the Stanford lab I work in with Professor Michael Ramscar, we study how children go about what is arguably the most vital project in their career as aspiring adults—learning language. Over the last several years, we’ve been particularly taken with the question of how kids learn a small, but telling piece of that vast complex: color words. We want to know how much they know, when they know it, and whether we can help them get there faster.
046M was off to a good start. I arranged three different color swatches in front of him. “Can you show me the red one?” He paused slightly, then pointed to the middle rectangle: red . “Very good!” I said, beaming. “Now, what about the one that’s blue?” Continue Reading