Seeing Red

Julieboo is a smart cookie, but identifying colors isn’t something she’s been able to grasp just yet.  She nailed orange and brown pretty quickly, but as far as all the others she’s just about as inconsistent as it goes. By no means am I one of those moms who compares her kid’s progress to that of other kids, but it would be nice to celebrate this accomplishment… if she could manage to keep accomplishing it. It’s been both funny and irking at the same time – for example, she learned the colors pink and purple (which she definitely had straight), and as soon as I opened my proud mommy mouth to tell someone she instantly started to reverse the two – and has done so consistently for the past few weeks now.  Oy vey.  Fortunately, we are confident she isn’t color blind since she can sort things like Legos and beads by color.  Whew.

I wanted to see if immersing her in one color for a week would perhaps help her get better at recognizing it, and I decided to start with red.  I planned a variety of activities that would give her lots of opportunities to find and name the color red.

The first thing I did was make a sensory bin.  I found the idea on Pinterest, and I’ve been dying to try it out.  I had to dig around the house to find a bin, then I bought 2 giant bags of white rice from Target and rounded up as many little red items as I could to add to the bin. There was a lacing shoelace, puzzle pieces, bear & counter manipulatives, a fork, and some other trinkets in the bin.


Yes, it was messy, and yes, she loved it.  I had a lot of fun with it too – everytime she dug for something and pulled it out I’d ask her what it was.  When she said, “A fork!” I would tell her, “A red fork.”  After a little while she was naming everything using the word red all by herself. Woo-hoo!


At the grocery store we looked for red items.  This was especially fun for her because she already asks me what color everything is, so having her look for one color became a game to her.


I also hid all of her Legos except for the red ones, and we spent some times building with just one color.  This was fun too, although for some reason most of her red Legos are all odd shapes that don’t stack together too well (see photo).  I think next time I’ll think this one through a little better and make sure the Legos in the color I need are able to allow for more creative thinking.


The last thing I did was create a giant anchor chart with the word RED written in the middle.  I drew things all around the word that are typically red: a ladybug, strawberries, stop sign lobster, etc.  Emily helped me think up some of the pictures, and then she and Julia worked together with red crayons, markers, and paint to fill it in.


The finished product… it’s not easy to ask two creative beauties to stick to only one color!


So, the final verdict?  She’s better at identifying red, but still gets it mixed up with other colors. In any case I’m thrilled that red is part of her color word vocabulary now though, since it wasn’t one of the colors she defaulted to before this week of red-filled fun. I could tell that she had a lot of fun doing this, and I’m definitely planning to do another color week soon – I’m thinking green will be next!

7 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. Anonymous says:

    Again I’m late with this, apologize. Wonder how she is doing after the last two(?) weeks and does she retain the knowledge? Have you moved on to green or other colors? Projects like this make learning fun and productive.
    Papa Bear

    • I never even got to green! She seems to have nailed them all on her own over the last week or two – except black and white. Ah well, seeing those colors only seems to cause problems, right? 😉

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