The Color of Learning: Six Color-Matching Games for Preschoolers

The Color of Learning

Learning to distinguish colors is an important pre-math and pre-reading skill. Creating a color-matching game for preschoolers is a fun way to reinforce these early learning skills. While quizzing preschoolers with flash cards and rote memorization can be very boring and oftentimes counterproductive to learning, there are several ways to introduce colors in an exciting way. Preschool learning is usually very active and involves the whole body. Teaching colors does not have to be the exception. Below are several ways to make learning colors as exciting as the rest of your preschool curriculum.

The Power of Observation

A color-matching game for preschoolers will often require children to have a keen sense of observation. The games listed here are all about developing that skill of observation.

Think Blue: Gather together pictures of things that are all the same color, such as blue. Show the pictures to the children and discuss the blue color in each of the pictures. Ask the children to look for blue in their clothes, the classroom, outdoors, etc. Ask them to name other things that are blue. When introducing colors for the first time, try to play this game using other colors once a week. If your children are older, try introducing a new color every day.

Flashlight Findings: Turn off the lights in your classroom and have all of the children sit very still. Shine a flashlight around the room very slowly and in a whispered voice, tell the children you are looking for something red. Ask them to shout "HOORAY!" or another phrase when the flashlight finds something red. Once the children are more adept at distinguishing colors, allow each of them a turn with the flashlight.

Color I Spy: This is a preschool version of an old favorite. Start the game with this rhyme: "Riddley, riddley, ree, I see something you don't see: and the color is _________." The children get three tries to guess the object you see. Continue the game, asking one of the children to say the rhyme and choose a color.

Active Learning

These games are not limited to circle time. It is easy to incorporate color learning into every part of your lesson plan.

Color Race: Cut shapes from colored paper and place strategically them around the room. Split the children into two teams. One team will collect blue shapes, the other team can collect red shapes. Have the children hop from one end of the room to the other, collecting only their colored shapes. For an added challenge, give each child a specific shape and color to collect. "Ryan, you collect all of the yellow triangles. Lindsey will collect all of the yellow circles."

Color Acting: This game will help children associate colors with everyday things. Some ideas to act out that will help them make these associations:

  • Be a yellow, buzzing bumblebee
  • Growl like a black bear
  • Eat some red cherries
  • Carve an orange pumpkin into a Jack-o'-Lantern

Snack Colors: For one week, try having all the same color foods at snack time. For an extra treat, use colored paper plates and napkins to serve the food. The week before, have the children help with the menu planning and ask them for suggestions. Some examples:

  • Red: watermelon, strawberries, cherries
  • Orange: cantaloupe, Cheez-its
  • Yellow: banana, vanilla wafers
  • Green: broccoli, celery, green beans, green grapes
  • Blue: blueberries, blueberry yogurt, blueberry muffin
  • Purple: purple grapes, toast with grape jelly