Initially, when introducing colours to a toddler, you begin with simple sensory explorations and play while talking to your tot about colours.
1. Blocks – coloured blocks, window blocks, duplo, etc.
2. Picture books that focus on colours. I like this list of toddler colour books from Simple Home Blessings. Your Montessori toddler will love the repetition.
3. Sensory play (depending on toddlers readiness) like this gorgeous DIY rainbow rice from Pink and Green Mama.
4. Discovery bottles (picture from Fun at Home with Kids)
5. Make a colour book or colour collage. I love Craftulate‘s DIY colour book with paint chips and stickers.
6. Set up free-play colour boxes (or baskets, tubs, etc) like these from Three Oaks.
Once your toddler is starting to understand the different colours, then the fun can begin with playful matching and sorting!
Lucy started with this Montessori primary colour sorter and is now (at 22 months) working with secondary colours.
The Eyes of a Boy created this lovely sorting tray.
Our absolute favourite colour sorting and matching activity is with this Montessori inspired sorting set from one of our favourite Australian stores Finlee and Me. It’s such a gorgeous, open-ended, sensory exploration of colours. I love how it encourages a deeper understanding of colour, while nurturing fine motor skills, cognitive thinking, and problem solving.
For Lucy (top pic), I set up the colour quilt and a couple of items of each colour for free exploration and play as well as sorting and language work. Whereas, with Cameron and my niece (bottom pic) I set them have free reign of all the materials and they used the wooden coins to learn colour words.
Open-ended, child-led, free play is the key – particularly for toddlers. We love the stacking/nesting bowls and colourful building bricks for play. They’re high quality and can be transformed into so many elements for imaginative play for many ages.
Past toddler-hood, the Montessori colour boxes and gradient work (like our DIY Montessori colour gradient activity) come into play, as well as colour mixing and more advanced colour matching and sorting can begin.
I was sent a couple of Finlee and Me products to review for this post. All opinions are genuine and my own.