Color, More Color, and Sneak in a 3


This was a short lesson that I did not do with my oldest, but with my second child.  At that time, he was 18 months to 2 years old.  The focus was to teach him how to name and identify his colors, but it turned out to be a double lesson on the quantity of 3.  I had done other learning explorations on color before with him.  This in particular was something to check to see if he actually could identify the colors now.

On the whiteboard, I wrote the names of the colors in their own colors because I had the luxury of having different colored whiteboard markers.  You can easily do this with crayons and white paper, or chalk on a chalkboard.  Something that would be really fun is to use window markers or dry erase markers on your window, or sliding door.  🙂

I happened to have a plastic connecting inch worm that had the colors I wanted to focus on.  Each color had 3 segments and so I pulled those apart and placed them on the rug.  I grabbed an inch segment and asked my child if this was orange, purple, blue, green, brown, yellow, or red.  Using blue painter’s tape, I tape the segment by the appropriate word of that color.  Then I asked my child what color the next one was until I had at least one segment for each color, except the brown, which I will explain later.  Once each color, except for brown, had a matching segment, I picked up another colored segment from the rug and asked him what color it was.  Then I asked him to match it to the one on the whiteboard and taped it up there once he got it.  Getting back to the color brown, my plastic inch worm did not have brown segments, so I took a happy meal prize that was in the bucket of toys and asked him what color this one was.  It was of course brown and so that was taped beside the corresponding word.  So this is a good example that you don’t need to go out and buy a plastic inch worm, you can use toys that are already in your house.

After everything was taped on the whiteboard, I made another column to place the number of each segments for each color.  I asked him to count with mommy to find out how many green segments we have on the board….”one, two, three”.  Then I wrote the number 3 beside it in the column.  This was repeated until we hit the brown toy.  In this case, we counted one and wrote the number 1 in the column next to it.  Yellow was of course 3.

Something like this can be done in a snap.  This probably took 10 to 15 minutes to do with my child.  At that age, that is all the attention span you are given!

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?


  1. Tuesday for Colors
  2. Wednesday for Counting

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years? 


  1. Monday-Friday for Colors
  2. Tuesday for Numbers

Something To Think About:

If you do not think you have 10 to 15 minutes of an attention span, then do what you can with what you have.  Even 5 minutes focusing on a couple of colors and small quantities is great.  Focus on colors in the morning and after nap time, focus on the quantity.  You can do this over and over again with different quantities and colors if you want.  Whatever you are able to do at home with your child, I think it’s great!

Again, as a parent, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they won’t fall behind.  This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should.  No worries….just breathe.  Because even reading this blog and finding out how to help your child become more successful in math, literacy, and art should tell you that you are a wonderful and caring parent.  If your child takes more time to learn concepts, it is okay.  We all learn at different times.  Don’t worry too much.  I will say this over and over again because it is that important to know that you are doing a great job! 🙂

copyright 2012 learning math with mom


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