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If you have a baby or a toddler, you may be interested in learning when they will start to hit different milestones.

One common developmental milestone that parents ask about is the milestone of recognizing colors. The truth is, every child is different and learns colors at their own pace. With that in mind, you can’t put an exact time frame on their learning.

Moreover, the ability to recognize different colors begins ramping up just before 2 years of age, or around 18 months. So, how exactly do children learn colors, and what children’s games and fun activities can you use to help their learning?

Today we’ll take a look at learning colors for preschoolers.

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When do children learn colors?

Color recognition starts around the same age that they start to figure out that there are differences in shapes, sizes, and textures. As mentioned above, this is usually around 18 months of age.

Keep in mind, however, that recognizing and naming colors are two different things. Though your child may be able to recognize colors before the age of two, most children won’t be able to actually name them until closer to the age of three. In the meantime, though they might not be verbally able to communicate colors, they may be able to identify them by pointing.

Again, keep in mind that this “age frame” is a general guideline. Every child learns at a different pace and some may learn faster or slower than others. 

It’s also important to note that just because children typically don’t learn colors until 18 months doesn’t mean that you can’t start teaching early. The more you work with them, the quicker they will soak in the information. 

How do children learn colors?

You may think that our ability to perceive and see different colors starts at birth – it doesn’t. According to science, newborn babies actually can’t see colors. Rather, they see the world in black, white, and shades of grey. This is because even though babies are born with all three types of cone, the cells take time to mature and the brain takes time to make sense of the signals being sent there. 

The first real color that babies can see is red, and this ability usually develops around 4 months of age. The next color to be seen is green, followed by blue and yellow. 

Of course, babies are constantly growing and progressing, and by the age of 5 months they should be able to see the full spectrum of colors. 

The first real color that babies can see is red, and this ability usually develops around 4 months of age.

Once your child reaches 18 months of age, they can progress from perceiving colors to recognizing the difference between them. At this stage, they mostly learn their colors through memorization – which is why it is so important for parents to work with their children regularly. Remember, primary colors are the easiest for children to learn, so start there and then progress your way into other colors on the spectrum. 

By the age of 4, children should be able to recognize several different colors. They may be able to identify, match, or name them.

Don’t sweat baby milestones too much. Babies develop at their own pace and every kid is different. If you need suggestions, there are tons of videos with activities to learn colors on YouTube.

You can teach your baby about colors with Speech Blubs Livin’ Colors Section. Download now to start learning!

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The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Blub Blub Inc. All content provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgement, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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