There’s so much for kids to learn! From their first words to their favourite animal –- those beginning years are spent exploring the world around them. While we buy toys for our kids so they can have fun, develop interests, and keep themselves entertained, they’re also great tools for learning important concepts, like numbers and colours.
Numbers are crucial to everyday life, helping us with everything from measuring time, to money, size and age. Colours are equally important, as they are not only pleasing to the eye, but can affect our moods, decision making, and even our physical health.
Toys are a fun and easy way to teach your kids numbers and colours, but if you’re a little stuck on how to do so, here are a few ideas to consider.
Start with counting and colour toys
When you’re teaching your kids something new, it’s always best to start simple. By introducing concepts in a gentle and engaging way, your kids will be learning without realising it.
For younger kids, pre-school specific toys are a great way to begin. A lot of these toys are designed for kids to easily recognise and become familiar with the shapes of numbers and the shades of colours. Counting toys can also teach them about number order and basic mathematical operations, while colour toys can help them learn the different names of colours.
Some of these toys can be multipurpose, for example, teaching numbers using different colours, or could be sensory, so your kids can learn about numbers, colours, and their senses at the same time.
Progress with counting and colour reading books
Once your little ones have got the basics down pat, you can start introducing them to trickier concepts. Books are a great way to take their learning one step further, teaching names of numbers and colours and how they are used in the world.
Children’s books can also help your kids expand their vocabulary, teach them basic spelling, make reading more enjoyable, and enable them to make the connection between numbers, colours and words.
If your kids aren’t the biggest fans of reading, try interactive books with fun textures. You can also make it a group activity, cosying up at the end of a long day for story time before sleep!
Go further with counting and colouring arts and crafts
Now that your little one has got a solid understanding of colours and numbers, it’s time to put the theory into practice!
Arts and crafts allows kids to consolidate their learning in a more hands-on approach. You can start simple with blank paper and crayons/textas/pencils. As kids draw, teach them what colours they’re using and label them. Once they’ve grasped the basics, you can move on to printing out colouring-in sheets from the internet, giving them colouring-in books, and/or creating dedicated arts and crafts kits.
Fingerpainting is also a great way for your kids to learn their colours through fun, sensory play. Start with primary colours (blue, red and yellow) and have them mix them together, asking what colours they’re using (and telling them what colour their mixtures are if they’re not sure).
While arts and crafts are great for colours, you can also slip in some counting! Try and challenge kids to colour three shapes in red and then two in blue, or ask them to paint a certain number of people. Try and make the painting interactive to keep them engaged and learning the entire time.
Enhance their learning with interactive toys
As well as teaching your kids numbers and colours through toys, reading books, and arts and crafts, you can also teach them in other interactive ways.
One of these ways is through sound. Songs that teach kids numbers and colours are not only fun for them to listen to and sing, but are also repetitive. That will help them retain what they’ve learnt, gain confidence and can give them a sense of control once they’ve mastered the songs.
Interactive toys that speak and pronounce numbers and colours are another great option. These toys usually come with other sensory features, such as buttons to push and lights to look at, which can also help your kids learn colours and numbers, and develop fine motor and cognitive skills at the same time.
With these ideas, you can teach your kids numbers and colours in a fun and easy way for them to remember. Make sure you check in with your kids every now and then to see if their learning has progressed by making simple requests, like finding something red or to give you two or three objects.
Don’t forget to be patient as learning numbers and colours takes time, and most importantly, have fun!