View Full Version : Toddler Learning
05-11-2008, 07:11 PM
My name is Special and I'm 23 years old. I am pregnant with my second child due October 14 of this year and my daughter is turning 3 in September. I'm trying to teach her colors, numbers, etc. and she's doing pretty good at the numbers but with the colors no luck. Matter of fact I'm always really nice and comforting and tell her it's okay to just guess a color if she doesn't no but normally she doesn't even try and if I ask her more than once she begins to cry. What am I supposed to do?! She needs to know this stuff to go to school but sometimes I become so frustrated that I send her to her room or I just get angry because I feel wrong for being frustrated. But then I don't want her going to school in a couple of years unprepared or being behind. Help, what should I do? How do you help your toddlers learn and do any of you have this problem?
05-12-2008, 12:54 AM
Can she find an object if you ask her "Find something red" or "Where's the green shoe" if given more than 1 shoe? My son calls everything blue- but knows his colors when asked to find the object (he's 2). If she can't identify the colors at all...maybe she's colorblind. It's more common in boys but it's worth talking to your dr. about. Just a thought.
05-13-2008, 10:03 PM
I'm a new mom and a teacher. The most harmful thing you can do in teaching a child is get angry or frustrated when they don't get the right answer. Especially with the little ones, if they think you'll get angry if they are wrong they'll get upset or be scared to answer and try to avoid the question. Anything we learn, even as adults takes experience and repetition.
When you are giving her a bath, if she has any toys, talk with her about the "yellow duck" or the "blue fish" , referring to her toys by their colors. While you get her dressed, tell her how pretty she looks with her blue shirt, or her pink bow. Tickle her with the brown bear, ask her to give a hug to the green frog....etc. You get the idea. Read her some books that talk about colors, classics, like Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss or Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see? There are others based off of the Brown Bear book that use colors too. OOOh, and play with colors...FINGERPAINT! See if she can draw you a red flower with green leaves. (fingerpaint isn't necessary...crayons work just as well.) If she doesn't get it right, compliment her beautiful flower and ask her what color flower she wants you to draw. Then draw using the color she chose so she can match the color she said with what she sees you drawing.
Try matching games as she learns to help you pick up her toys. Pick up all the toys that are blue, then red, then orange, even sorting them into different bins.
In the end she needs positive experiences with color. Even if she gets every answer you ask her incorrect, tell her that she did a good job because she tried and did not get upset. And if she seems stressed out by the activity, drop it until later. The word "kindergarten" means "child's garden". Early educators used this term because they felt that young children learn through play, so keep it playful. She'll pick it up. If over the course of time (like a year) she is still not recognizing color, have her eyes checked out for color blindness. But my guess is that it is like everything else with raising children, they each progress at their own rate in their own time. I thought my daughter was NEVER going to break a tooth through, but once her first came in at 10 months, they are coming in quickly. She's also taking her time standing and walking on her own...but until the doctor tells me that there is concern, I'm letting her develop at her own pace. So just give it time, patience and make it fun. Good luck!
05-15-2008, 11:15 PM
I entirely agree with the advice from Kaiya23. Children really do learn at their own pace, but the more that you are able to incorporate it into her day, the more connection she will be able to make between the color and its name. Associating the color with her everyday objects and experiences is a wonderful way to introduce the colors. Maybe if she is struggling with a couple, you can find focus on a couple at a time. My son knows the colors of the rainbow, but struggle with white, brown, black and gray. We've been teaching white and black with giving him a choice with his cereal bowl. For brown, we are using his bedtime bear (blue bunny, brown bear), etc. He loved the Brown Bear, Brown Bear story. We would read the story over and over, until the point that he had it memorized. I would read the starting line and let him fill in the blank with the next color and animal. Fun games and experiences reinforce what you are trying to teach- colors, numbers, letters, shapes, etc. in a non-threatening way. Best of luck. I'm sure she'll master those colors in no time!
05-16-2008, 11:27 AM
Especially for little ones, learning happens best when it occurs naturally and when it's fun. Focus on colors in the context of play--I'll use this red crayon, I want the blue square, My dolly wants a yellow blanket, What color dress does your baby want? etc etc etc. And even in the context of everyday activities you can plug in colors. Show her two bowls at breakfast time: Do you want the red bowl? (and show her that one)...or the yellow bowl? (show her the other one). At the park, stop and sniff the purple flowers then stop and sniff the pink flowers. Ask her which color flower she likes best. Tell her: "I really like you're blue pants! Am I wearing blue pants? (don't ask more than once, if she doesn't answer, just answer yourself) Nope! My pants are ____! (see if she'll fill in the blank, but you do it if she doesn't)." If she starts getting irritated with the constant focus on colors, just pick a time of day to focus on it or choose 3 fifteen-minute segments of the day. And relax. She'll get it eventually. If she doesn't start picking up on it after you've been working on it for a few weeks, maybe mention it to your pediatrician and/or eye doctor. Some kiddos really are color blind (tends to be genetic...is there any in your family?).
For toddlers in my classes who struggle with colors, we've made coloring books. (I just pull the pictures from Clip Art or the internet and print everything in black and white--see if your print options will let you choose "coloring book"). ANYWAY, we put a rainbow on the front and help them use the right colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). Then every page inside has a different color and an association: red like apples, orange like tigers/carrots, yellow like the sun, green like grass, blue like the sky, purple like grapes, black like spiders, brown like mud, white like clouds, pink like flowers--just make sure to choose items that your daughter is familiar with. They really like the "read" the book because they made it. And anytime after that when we're coloring, I'll use the associations to help them remember each color: "What color will your tree be? Oh, you chose green like grass! Good choice!"
Don't worry too much. Have fun with it! Good luck :)
06-01-2008, 09:28 PM
you should turn it into a game. i have a four-year-old and we play "I spy with my little eye" he likes playing even though he doesn't really get the concept of it being one particular item that is the color you're looking for. usually he'll just point out everything he sees that's blue, red or whatever color. but it gets a laugh out of him and it's fun for me too (until it's can we play every second of the day) lol. but yeah i just turn everything into a game. like with counting i'll set out Goldfish and have his add and subtract and he does pretty well. hope it helps! good luck
06-02-2008, 08:18 AM
That is great imformation for me too. My daughter is 3 (in 2 weeks) she knows her colors(even crazy ones, like tan and grey), can count to 30, and say the alphabet. But she doesn't know the difference between a letter or #. We try to read a single word book w/ big letters and I'll point them out. But still she is way more interested in the colors. Plus you have a couple of years yet, thats plenty of time.
06-02-2008, 09:47 AM
kfiedler, I wouldn't worry about that, it wasn't until this year that my son (who will be 5 in August) figured out the difference, but he too knew all the stuff that your daughter knows. Something really fun to work on is shapes at that age!! And there my 2nd son is backwards. He's 2 1/2 and knows almost all the shapes, but is having a heck of a time with his colors! But, I just keep working on it.
06-05-2008, 04:36 AM
This is all great advice - especially the input from the teachers! One thing I would add is just dropping it all together for a week or so to give both of you time to get over the stress it's been causing. After a little cooling off time, begin slowly introducing colors into your day following all these great ideas.
I would also emphasize that each kid is different and will learn each thing when he or she is ready. My first son is very spatially-oriented. He picked up shapes really early, then went right on to recognizing all the letters. He was slower with colors, and for awhile I was a little concerned about color blindness, but he got it when he was ready. My second son learned colors before shapes. He learned to name the letters later, but he's very language-oriented and is starting to learn the sounds they make much earlier. Each one will learn a certain skill set when ready.
In Montessori, they call these 'sensitive periods.' The idea is that children will learn best when they reach their own 'sensitive period' for a particular skill. So, when they're there, let them go at it! My older son was so into puzzles for awhile that one day, when he had to stay home sick from preschool, he decided to do every puzzle we had. He did 27 puzzles, and fell asleep that night working on the last one! Montessori philosophy looks at skills in approx. 3-year age blocks. There are certain skill sets that most kids will develop between the ages of 3 - 5, then from 6 - 9 yrs., etc. The order they acquire those skills within that time period will vary.
The most important thing is to not push too hard before they're ready. Like everyone else said, have fun with it!
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