Colour Play at 18 Months


Floss is 18 months old and has begun to show an interest in colour. She’s been putting colours that are similar together, so this week I thought we’d do some different colour activities to go with her interest. I set up a couple of invitation to play areas for her. The first (on the right) are just slightly smaller than A5 pieces of coloured card, laminated. On the reverse they also have the name of the colour too. Often when I do things like this for Floss I will write on what they are, for example a picture of a pig will have ‘pig’ written on it somewhere. Now I’m not trying to get her to read at 18 months, but I believe it is really important for little ones to see the written word as often as possible. Also, I don’t like throwing things away. These cards will be used over the coming years and so having the word written on the back will give these cards extra life. Above left are just strips of card in different colours and two sizes. This gives me the opportunity to also use the language of big and small with Floss.


Floss went straight for the strips and began moving them about. Then she disappeared off into the other room. She got a bag and began to fill some of her blocks into the bag and then returned, placing her blocks on the table. She spent a while just moving the blocks around and matching with strips of the corresponding colour. I sat by her naming colours as she played. Orange definitely seems to be her favourite colour, but since having a collection of blue objects yesterday for World Autism Awareness Day she seems to be going to this colour more frequently.


We popped to the village this morning and on the way Floss kept stopping when a car went past; if it was a blue car she pointed and said ‘boo, boo’. She had a huge smile on her face each time. Each time she stopped for a car that wasn’t blue I said the colour of the car. When we returned home I began placing the laminated, colour cards in a line. Orange was swiftly removed – still the favourite!?


Floss is very much into her new skill of walking, so we went on a colour hunt around the house to find things to add to our cards. We gathered together some of her favourite toys, a few at a time and took them back to the cards. Certain colours she was confident with, blue and orange particularly. Mind you – she did try and squirrel all the orange items away in her bag! Some colours she needed a little help with. A great activity though, that kept her occupied for around 30 minutes. Half the time with me and then the rest independently, exploring herself.


We’ve shared two books so far today, ‘Colours’, with her favourite Gruffalo characters in and ‘Go Wild with…Noises’ by Neal Layton. Now the later isn’t officially a ‘colour’ book, but each page is made up of a single colour with a different animal and animal noise words; Floss loves making the animal noises.

We’re going to keep on our colour adventure this week (well for as long as it’s an interest of Floss’s), so do pop back to see what we get up to. Please do comment if you have any ideas for us of activities or books, thanks. Lisa and Floss xx

Top Tips

  1. Go with your child’s interests.
  2. Set up a little invitation to explore – children will show you where they want to take it. It can be as simple as strips of paper!
  3. Children will find their own learning opportunities as Floss did when labelling blue cars.
  4. Give time for children to be independent in their play.
  5. Always use books – at this age a great snuggling time to share learning.
  6. Have fun!