Thursday, November 17, 2016

Therapy Tip- Let's Learn Colors!

Welcome back to Therapy Thursday!

This is the day I share a tip based on my experience as a pediatric speech-language pathologist and a mother of a child with special needs. Due to Down syndrome awareness month, Therapy Thursday was paused. But, now we are back with today's tip:

Let's Learn Colors

I'm always looking for new ways to help toddlers and young children learn colors.

There are 3 steps to learning colors that I check in therapy.
-Matching: Can the child match blue to blue, red to red, etc.? This can be achieved through puzzles and many available toddler games and toys. When this is pretty consistent, I move to the next step.

-Identification: Can the child point to the correct color when asked?  For instance, if there is one red car and one green car, then I would ask the child, "Show me the green car." All the child has to do is point to the right answer.

-Naming: This is the hardest level. Can the child name the color of objects? As the child tries to begin naming colors, I have noticed they often use their favorite color to name every object's color. This is a somewhat normal experience as they call everything "green," for example, in attempts to tell about colors. Over time, the children eventually learn to correctly name colors through repetition.

When I work on learning colors with children, I like to find new activities to address this skill so that I can stay excited about my work. 

I was recently shopping in the Dollar Store. I saw this really neat ice tray that makes long, skinny ice cubes for water bottles. I picked it up thinking I could use this for therapy, but I really didn't have a good idea for it at the time of purchase.

After some thinking, I came up with this:

I found the tray slots were the perfect size for crayons. So, I taped a different colored piece of construction paper in each cube slot. Then, I collected crayons to match to the construction paper. This created a coloring matching activity.

I often do activities with my toddlers in speech therapy that involve crayons, so this colored tray just became another tool to use. Before or after we started using the colors, I hand the child a crayon one at a time to place in the tray to show me they can match colors.

Simple and easy ideas are sometimes the best. Give it a try yourself.

Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended as therapeutic advice.

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