Help! My Child Doesn’t Know Their Colors

Inside: You’ll receive 3 free color games and important tips for teaching your child the color names.

Early in the school year as you’re doing your assessments, your eyes widen when you realize a handful of children in your first grade class don’t know all their color names. How could this have happened?

Didn’t they learn them in pre-school? In kindergarten? What about at home?

Don’t despair. It takes children a long time to learn their colors and even six-year-olds continue to make major color naming errors (Scientific American).

It’s true! Every single year I had a few children enter my class who were still unsure of their colors but by the end of the school year they were color-naming champions.

Image by Henrieta Ondrejková from Pixabay

In my opinion, the best way to teach your young child color names is to keep the learning fun, casual and part of every day activities.



1. Name colors while you’re on a walk, eating a meal, looking at a book, or picking out clothes for the day. “Look at that cute doggy! The dog is brown.” (Note: I didn’t say “brown doggy”.  More on that later.)

2. Paint and color pictures together, being sure to name the colors while you’re using them. Or mix up batches of different colored play-doh.

3. Don’t stress about it. Learning color names is a developmental process and your child will master them when they’re ready. Although if you’re worried about color blindness, this post is worth reading.



Another great way to learn colors is to play games. The download for the games is toward the end of the post.

Learning Colors Games. 3 fun and easy games to print. Your child can have lots of fun learning to identify their colors with these 3 games. Quick and easy download.


All the games require is a bit of cutting, folding and taping. And if you’d like the game board and playing cards to last longer then you’ll probably want to laminate them, but of course it’s not necessary.

I’ve used my rainbow monsters clip art to make the games.



For this game you’ll need to print out double copies of each card.

My granddaughter, Ivy, is only 3 so when we played Memory we only used 12 cards with 6 different colors. I didn’t want to overwhelm her!

Every time we turned over a card we named the color. If they were a match we kept them; if they weren’t then we turned them over and left them. (Directions are in the pdf download at the end of the post).

Ivy liked the Memory Game a lot and we played many different versions.

Learning Colors Games. 3 fun and easy games to print. Your child can have lots of fun learning to identify their colors with these 3 games. Quick and easy download.



As you can imagine this one was a BIG hit!

Learning Colors Games. 3 fun and easy games to print. Your child can have lots of fun learning to identify their colors with these 3 games. Quick and easy download.

To play, we used Lego or Lego man markers and put some chocolate chips in the middle of the board. We rolled the star die and moved that many spaces. When we landed on a color monster we had to say the name of the color out loud. And every time we passed the start we got to take 2 chocolate chips and eat them!

This game is great not only for color recognition, but also for learning to count objects and learning to hop around the game board (matching the count with the hop).



For the third game Ivy and I placed all 24 color cards (we doubled up on all the colors) face up on the floor.

We rolled both color dice, named the colors we rolled, and then picked up the matching cards.

Eventually it reached a point where we couldn’t always pick up two cards. Depending on how many cards had already been taken we could sometimes only pick up one card and sometimes none!

We just kept rolling and naming colors until they were all picked up. If you wanted a winner it would be the person with the most cards, but given that Ivy is just 3 we didn’t worry about that. We just had fun playing the game.

As simple and easy as this game is Ivy loved it, too! In fact, all 3 games were a big hit with her:)


According to the article in Scientific American, the best way to talk about color is to USE COLOR WORDS AFTER NOUNS.

For example, instead of saying “This is a pink ball,” you should say “This ball is pink.”

In the first example “pink” acts like a proper name.

In the second example “pink” becomes a property of the ball.

And for some reason, children remember color words as properties better than they remember them as proper names.

WEIRD, but totally worth a try!


If you’re looking for a book about colors to go along with the games, you might like The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh.

If you like the little monsters and want to make your own games (commercial use is okay), then you can find them in my store (just click either image below).


Thanks for stopping by!


Leave a Comment