Playing with Color: Games and activity that teach color!

If your house is littered with crayons, markers, and colored pencils (oh my!), you may have a preschooler around. Young kids LOVE playing with colors, and learning the colors is an early step in math and literacy skills.

The more your child plays with colors, the easier for them to identify, match, sort, and collect by color. Color recognition is one of the first schemas your child’s brain will develop as they learn to categorize and group like and unlike objects. Colors are one the earliest ways your child begins to make sense of the world around them.

Infant Color Activities

Children as young as 12 weeks old will begin to prefer brighter colors, especially shades of green, red, orange, and blue. By five mon this old, your baby should be able to see a full range of colors, although they won’t have names for them yet! That’s where you come into play!

baby playing multicolored xylophone toy

Name colors for your baby and toddler like you would other objects like a car, horse, or plane. Use as much descriptive language as possible to boost their vocab when speaking to your little one! For example, instead of, “Do you see the bus?” Say, “Do you see the big yellow bus?”

Preschool and Toddler Activities


To start, download our free color wheel worksheet and print it on cardstock (or adhere copy paper to cardstock). Then cut and assemble using a brass bracket to attach the smaller shape wheel to the color wheel.

Base the difficulty level on your child’s age and development level.

EASY: Have your child select a colored pencil, crayon, or marker color and color the shape that matches the color. Or choose one toy for each color on the wheel and let your child choose the toy that matches the color spun.

selective focus photography of Crayola crayons

MODERATE: Place all of the colored pencils (or crayons) that correspond with the color wheel in a box. Then, have your child close their eyes and select a crayon. After they open their eyes, they identify the color and color the shape next to the color on the wheel. To enhance your child’s learning, play our Color Me game or Colorific which makes it fun and easy for children to learn colors through repetition.


The fun doesn’t stop after you’ve colored the wheel! Now it’s time to go on a scavenger hunt! The color wheel extension activity gets little fingers in on the coloring action honing fine motor skills, and can serve as a platform for a scavenger hunt.

Choose a color and have your child find something in the room that is the same color! This is an excellent opportunity to talk about shades and tones of colors with older preschoolers.

Want to make it more of a challenge? Call out colors AND shapes. For example, how many blue octagons can you find in your house? It works well for road trips, too! Use a paper clip to mark what color and shape your child is looking for in case they need to reference it.

Are you looking for more color fun? Check out our printable coloring pages or one of our many games, like Sea of Colors or Cupcake Catch.

Updated August 15, 2023, by L. ELizabeth Forry

written by

L. Elizabeth Forry 

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, gender development. She has written curriculum for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics on early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

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