At the age of two, I started teaching my kids these things. I started off just introducing them to these things, but before I knew it, they were picking up on it and telling me their colors and letters on their own! As I have said many times before, I am a huge believer in consistency and doing things over and over with your child until it is clear to them. I am also an advocate for trying out new things and making learning fun for kids. Mix things up! Get creative! Get them involved in a game and/or a project where these things are being used. This creates a situation where your child is learning and having fun at the same time !
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Go outside! What colors and shapes can you find in nature? Collect sticks and put them together to form letters, numbers and shapes.
- Field Trip! In the grocery store, how many different apple colors are there? What different shapes are in the aisles?
- Flowers! Try and find all the colors of the rainbow in the flowers?
- Reading a book to your child: What colors are on the pages? What shapes are in the pictures?
- Getting your child dressed in the morning: Talk about what colors he/she has on.
- In the car: Look at the passing vehicles - what color are they? What shapes are on the buildings? Can you find an "A"?
- Cooking: Talk about the color in the foods you are preparing. Cut the vegetables into shapes. Making pancakes? Make them into shapes and letters. Add food coloring to batters to come up with new colors.
Here are some ideas:
- Have your kids paint different letters, numbers, shapes - let them experiment and get messy!
- Have them cut out different shapes (great for scissor skills too) and put them together to make a picture.
- Have your kids mix paints together to see what colors they can make.
- Use letter, number and shape cookie cutters as stencils.
- Stickers are a lot of fun for kids. Make a sticker album out of a notebook and the kids can put the letters on the corresponding page.
- Use alphabet cereal to make words. Spell their name.
In every thing you do, try and attach a color/shape/letter/number to it. That way, you are making it fun and interesting and not such a bore to learn. As with anything, don't do it so much that your kids' ears start ringing when they hear you mention a "circle" or the color "blue". At first, it will seem like your child is not even paying attention and that he/she is not retaining anything you are going over, but then one day you will be somewhere and your child will say, "Look mom, that truck is green!" Sweet success!
One thing about teaching a child something new, repetition and making it fun are two main components to them catching on. Repeating colors and talking about colors over and over is the perfect way for your child to understand and get the colors down. Making it fun The main thing is do it over and over and over again. You can teach colors wherever you are: grocery store, looking at flowers, reading books, flashcards, in the car, outside, etc. You just have to go over it all the time and soon, your child will be in the car someday and say that is a green truck! AAHHH - satisfaction.