The best way for toddlers to learn the colors is through play. They are naturally drawn to colors and often will learn them just by simple and consistent reminders from you.
That doesn’t mean that learning colors can’t be fun! Here are some super simple color activities for toddlers that will having them naming the rainbow in no time!
11 Fun and Easy Activities to Teach Toddlers the Colors
Color Themed Books
Reading is one of the best, and simplest, ways to teach kids anything. There are millions of color books out there to choose from, but here are some of my favorites:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Rainbow Colored Activities and Crafts
Crafts are a great jumping off point for toddlers. They give the kids something to do with their hands while they process. And you can talk about every step along the way.
Rainbow crafts are colorful and a ton of fun- making them the perfect way to discuss the colors!
You can try one of my rainbow crafts such as the Rainbow Kandinsky Circles or make a Crumpled Paper Rainbow.
And here’s a list of 25 Rainbow Crafts and Activities you can do with your toddler while you talk about the colors.
Sorting colors is another simple color activity to set up for your toddler. All you need is an object that comes in multiple colors and a few containers to sort them into!
What can your toddler sort? (Click the links to see an example of the activity)
Basically anything that comes in a variety of colors! If you are working with a young toddler, start out with just a few colors and add more as they master the first ones.
Go On a Color Hunt
This is such a fun color activity! You can do multiple colors at a time or just one (if you are working with a young toddler).
You can use colored bags or baskets or simply set up colored paper for your child to collect colored objects that match.
See an example of a color scavenger hunt from Creative Family Fun.
I think this would be great as an outdoor nature-themed color hunt too!
Colored Bath time
When my oldest boys were young they did a lot of learning in the tub. We had a set of colored foam letters that would stick to the sides of the tub and wall so we learned colors, letters and numbers that way.
Over the years we’ve also had bath crayons and tablets that color the tub water. All of these make bath time even more fun!
You can simply play with them and discuss the names of the colors or set up a color-themed bath. Red toys, red water, red crayons, maybe even a red towel if you have one on hand!
Color Themed Sensory Play
If you don’t want to color bath time you can still get some colored sensory play by setting up color themed sensory bins.
You could do a rainbow bin- or like my bath example, collect items of just one color.
Yellow corn, yellow cars, yellow scoops, yellow spoons, yellow toys, etc.
Allow your toddler to explore one color for a week and then switch it out for a new color.
Check out my post on How to Make a Yellow Sensory Bin.
Make Color Jars-
Take a few large jars or containers and fill them with exciting trinkets or toys all of one color.
Make a whole set in all the colors of the rainbow and let your toddler explore!
Here’s a great article on ways to make and use color jars with your toddler.
Color Hop Outdoor Activity
I love games and activities that get your kids up and moving. This is a fun outdoor activity for learning color.
Make a color hop using sidewalk chalk!
Then call out colors- or maybe make a big die or get the twister spinner out- and let your toddler jump from color to color!
Here’s how to make a color hop on your driveway.
Color matching is similar to color sorting but with a bit of a different spin. Instead of just sorting the colors in to piles, toddlers have to be able to place a colored object with it’s corresponding colored partner.
Free paint chips at your local home improvement store can be an easy way to set up a color matching activity. I like this one that uses clips to match up colors.
If you have some bear counters on hand, this free color matching printable looks like a lot of fun.
Similar to the color scavenger hunt, you can make color collages to help your toddler learn the colors.
Instead of searching for objects around the house, search for colored pictures in magazines or in your craft bucket.
Collect feathers, stickers, paper scraps, magazine images,etc and glue them down on a matching piece of colored paper.
Color Mixing and Transferring
Water is great for sensory fun. When my boys were young we had a color mixing set from a Montessori catalog. They LOVED it and it kept their attention for a long time.
This color activity teaches a lot more than just colors. It lets your child gain fine motor skills and let’s them explore how to create new colors by mixing.
You don’t have to have a special set to create this activity. Check out How to Make a Color Mixing Station for specifics on how to set up this activity.