In response to queries from parents over many years ... let’s discuss colours.
All childcare providers use the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) learning outcomes to assess and monitor your child’s development from birth to 60 months which is the end of Reception. Colours are only mentioned in a creative sense in the following age bands:
22-36 months - Experimenting with colours.
30-50 months - Exploring colours and how they can be changed.
40-60 months - Finding out what happens when colours are mixed.
There is no requirement to recognise, let alone name, colours.
Try these ideas with your child
If you wish to find out if your child can see colours there are three steps to follow.
Provide a set of toys or resources that reflect your child’s interest (dinosaurs, blocks etc). Ensure that they are of the same shape and size and only vary in colour. Play a sorting/matching game where they go into different caves/garages/pots according to their colour. Can they differentiate between colours?
Ask your child to give you a red/blue/green ... and name the toy. They may not use the words themselves but can they identify the colour by name? If they can, they know the names of colours.
Then ask your child what colour an item is. Stay with naming primary colours of red, blue and yellow at first. Can he/she name it? Lovely. This last one can take a little longer for some young children to succeed with, so don't panic!
And now a little story...
A boy of two years old, in our care has a bright, lively, enquiring mind and an extensive vocabulary.
He has an encyclopaedic technical knowledge of all farm machinery and animals which are part of his everyday life experience and is curious about everything and everybody. Except for colours...
He can tell you that a John Deere tractor is usually green but, other than that, colours hold no interest for him. And why should they?
His mother also tells me that there is a level of mistrust about the fact that sky blue, navy blue and every shade in between are all called by the same name. It doesn’t make any sense to him.
In his two short years, he has learned a new language and more facts than I can aspire to learn in the whole of the rest of my life.
He has put colours on the back burner for now ... It’s fine.