Identifying colors, exploring and comparing colors, and learning color names are all important concepts for preschoolers and toddlers. There are so many ways to teach your preschooler colors. This set of free preschool lesson plans includes over 16 color activities for preschoolers.
16+ Color Activities for Preschoolers & Toddlers
Whether you’re working on color recognition, color mixing, learning color names, or just enjoy bright, cheery, colorful activities…you’ll love these preschool lesson plans that feature over 16 color activities for preschoolers. Most of these color activities are also appropriate for toddlers, pre-k students, and kindergarteners.
This post offers a wide range of preschool color activities. From learning about color mixing to going on a scavenger hunt, this collection of color activities is sure to get your preschooler interested in all things colorful!
How do you make learning colors fun?
Like any other content you teach your preschooler or toddler, you want color activities that will make learning fun. Variety is key! Here are some tips to make learning about colors more enjoyable:
- Include color activities that involve whole-body movement.
- Try matching colors.
- Go on scavenger hunts.
- Play “I Spy.”
- Make color collections.
- Create rainbows using random items from around the house.
- Practice sorting by using color items.
- Have “dress in ____” color days…
- …or do the same with foods.
- Play “Where’s the Thimble” with specific color items.
How to Teach Colors to Toddlers
The first step to teaching colors is to point out colors in everyday objects that children are familiar with. For example, when serving water at snack time you could say, “You’re using a blue cup today.” Or when getting dressed you could say, “This is a pink shirt. I like pink, don’t you?” This may seem tedious, but drawing attention to all the colors around us is good for toddlers, and soon they’ll start to recognize color differences.
Next, play matching games with toddlers. Start with only a few colors and work up to using many colors at once. These matching activities will quickly lead into color sorting activities.
Finally, include lots of color activities as part of your learning time. Color activities don’t need to be fancy or require special printables or toys, either. Matching colored blocks or crayons of the same color will do just fine.
Use Picture Books to Teach Colors
One of the best ways to teach color to preschoolers is to use picture books. These are some of my favorites:
Teaching Tools to Teach Colors
These preschool lesson plans don’t require any special materials for teaching colors.; that’s what makes them so special. These lesson plans for preschoolers only require the most basic supplies found in most homes.
But if you’re looking for a way to amplify your color teaching skills, these are some of my favorite teaching tools for teaching toddlers (and preschoolers!) their colors.
Color Activities for Preschoolers & Toddlers
These color activities for preschoolers are really simple, but amazing learning activities! They’re appropriate for toddlers, too!
These activities are a part of my Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans Collection, so be sure to grab your free lesson plans with all these activities at the end of this post. And like all my preschool lesson plans in this series, they are simple enough to be done at home but robust enough for the classroom, too!
New lesson plans for preschoolers are rolled out almost weekly, until we have completed nearly fifty weeks of free preschool lesson plans! When you subscribe, you never have to miss out on the latest lesson plans.
Literacy Activities for a Colors Theme
Watercolor Name Recognition – Using a permanent marker and some watercolor paints, this activity is a breeze to set up and a great way to help your preschooler recognize and love their name! Write your preschooler’s name on a piece of white paper with a permanent marker. Invite your preschooler to dip their paintbrush in water and choose a paint color to begin painting. Encourage your preschooler to name the colors and note what happens when they mix certain colors. You can paint the names of the whole family or class!
Alphabet Coloring Pages – Sometimes sitting down to color is a great way to start or end the day. These fun and simple alphabet coloring pages correspond to an individual letter and are great for building pre-writing and fine motor skills. Be sure to chat with your preschooler as he or she colors, talking about what color they’re choosing and why. Hang up the letter pages around the house as your preschooler finishes coloring them or snag all the letters in your preschooler’s name. You can even compile them into an alphabet book, all colored by your preschooler.
Math and Science Activities for a Colors Theme
Number Rainbow – Get some colored paper in each color of the rainbow. Cut each sheet into four equal pieces. Write a number between 1 and 10 on each piece. Not every color has to have all the number 1-10, but between all the colors there should be a good combination of numbers. Flip over the pieces so the numbers aren’t visible. Draw a color card and have your preschooler identify the number. Add a counting element to this by having your preschooler also count a manipulative to the corresponding number.
Color Sort Game – This is a super fun and super simple game that will keep your preschooler asking for more. Hide one or two handfuls of colorful items around the house. Colored blocks, baby food caps, or even socks work well for this. Set a timer and give your preschooler a bag to collect colored items. Then sort the items by color onto colored paper. Do some go into multiple groups?
Healthy Food Color Sort – Grab this colorful printable and some colored pompoms for this healthy habits sort. Encourage food recognition and matching with this fun sort.
Playful Learning Activities for a Colors Theme
Rainbow Scavenger Hunt – Go on a rainbow scavenger hunt outside on a nature walk. Look for various colored objects and line them up in a half-circle shape to mimic a rainbow. Has the weather turned cold and you can’t go outside? Try the scavenger hunt inside the house or classroom.
Colorful Days – Have your preschooler dress him/herself in all one color for a particular day. Choose a new color every day of the week. Make that color a focus for the whole day. Use every possible opportunity to talk to your preschooler about their clothing and about the color of the day.
Colorful Camouflage – Learn about camouflage by laying out a patterned shirt or blanket. Try to find objects from around the house that would be camouflaged by the pattern. Encourage more thinking by asking, “What animals use their camouflage to keep themselves hidden in nature?”
Social-Emotional Activities for a Colors Theme
Colored Emotions – Emotions can be in color! Listen to the story My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. After listening to the story, listen to different kinds of music and draw how it makes you feel. Feelings might be drawn in random lines and colors or recognizable pictures. Discuss the moods we all have and how to change our moods/feelings. When your preschooler is going through an especially tough day, encourage them to get out the crayons and color how they feel. This activity can be helpful to get your child to open up and talk, as well as recognize the unique emotions they feel.
Color Cues – Working on managing emotions with your preschooler? Try using a cue card system for happy and sad feelings. Grab a green, yellow, and red sheet of paper. Flash green when a preschooler is happy, yellow when irritated, and red when angry and needing help to calm down. After your child has been practicing with this cue system for a while, encourage them to call out the colors and practice self-regulating their feelings.
Just Plain Fun Activities for a Colors Theme
Paint Rocks – Paint rocks to add to the flower beds around the house. Extra points if you give away some of your painted rocks to friends and neighbors!
Mix Colors – Using playdough, grab the primary colors and mix them to make new colors by rolling, squeezing, and smashing together. Or grab any two colors and experiment! It’s fun to hide one color inside the ball of another. Your preschooler might be surprised by the outcome when they smoosh and kneed it.
Make Rainbows – Try making real rainbows in this fun science experiment. All you need is a glass of water, a hand held mirror, and some sunlight. See this video for details.
Rainbow Play – Use a variety of objects from around the house to make a rainbow. Finding items of a single color can be difficult, which just adds to the challenge for your preschooler.
Get Online Activities for a Colors Theme
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Walsh. After reading, invite your preschooler to act silly and mix some paint of their own. Using red, yellow, and blue paint, encourage your preschooler to follow along with the story and replicate mixing the colors.
Colors! Colors! Song – This catchy and colorful song is a great singalong and perfect for movement. It’s also a great way to incorporate rhyming and matching.
The Feelings Song – A musical reminder of how our feelings can often coincide with colors…and it’s perfectly okay to feel all the emotions we have inside!
Grab Your Free Color Theme Lesson Plans Here
Think you want to add these sixteen color activities to your preschool lesson plans? I’ve already made a free printable for you. Just click the image below and a PDF will be sent to your inbox.
Then keep scrolling for more color activities for toddlers and preschoolers!
More Free Color Printables for Preschoolers
I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction