Here is a quick little activity to start to encourage color recognition and matching.
We used a set of color flash cards and the shapes from our shape sorter, but there are so many ways to modify this activity using what you already have in the house.
Basically, the goal of the activity is to match like-colored shapes (or fruit, or blocks, or crayons, etc.) to the colored cards. For younger toddlers, you can pre-match the shapes to the corresponding cards and talk about the colors. You might also want to start with just two or three colors. As they get older, you can let them match the objects and colors on their own, add more colors, or even ask them to go find objects in the room that match. This last modification might also be good for kiddos who are constantly on the move (for example, see Big Brother below).
Little Brother, my “I want to sit quietly and read in order to learn” child, jumped right in with this activity.
After rearranging the purple and blue shapes, he wanted to keep the green square right where it belonged.
And, Big Brother, my “I need to run and climb and move in order to learn” child, first tested out his balance skills,
and then had to find another object to add to the game,
and finally decided that this was something he wanted to try.
So, even though we are far from knowing our colors, both boys did really well on following directions, such as – “Can you put the red triangle on the red card?” I also noticed that after each try, they looked to us to see if they did it correctly. This made for a great opportunity for positive feedback. After each attempt at matching, it is easy to say something like, “Almost, try again…” or “Yay! You did it!” when they do get it right (either by luck, process of elimination, or because they really did match the colors).
And, they may just join right in with you in celebrating their accomplishments.