Learning colors is an important age-appropriate goal for toddlers. The internet is loaded with educational games aimed at children of all ages and skill levels. Look for games that involve simple computer skills like one click of the mouse and repetition to help your toddler learn his colors.
Easy Color Games for Toddlers
Toddlers range in age from one to three years old. Keep in mind your child's developmental level before selecting a game. For younger toddlers, the easier games will help develop cognitive and computer skills in preparation for more difficult games. Children at this skill level will need parental supervision and assistance with most games.
Oliver World: Colorful Bubbles
BabyTV character, Oliver the monkey, is taking a bubble bath and his soap keeps making colored bubbles in the air. Oliver calls out a specific color and toddlers use the space bar to pop them. Colorful Bubbles is an easy game for the youngest computer users. Other fun features include:
- Option to use space bar or one-click mouse skills to pop balloons (when using space bar, the correct color balloons automatically pop)
- Engaging sounds like a light 'pop' when a balloon breaks or a slightly louder 'pop' when the mouse hovers over a bubble
- Display image of the selected color remains on the screen during each round
- Automatic progression to the next color when all correct bubbles are popped
- A cute song at the end with automatic progression back to the beginning of the game
Colorful bubbles teaches basic colors in five rounds and displays game progress on a sidebar using stars. The game does not have a full-screen option but is set up so there are not many other items your child can accidentally click on. You need Adobe Flash Player for this game.
Find the Color
This basic color game teaches eleven colors using one-click mouse skills. Find the Color features a four-by-three grid of large, colored dots. A quiet man's voice directs you to click on a specific color. Kids can click around the game board with or without help. If you forget what color you are looking for, there is a little red button to click that repeats the color. When your child chooses the wrong color, the voice calmly says to try again. When he chooses the correct color, there is a clapping sound. After each color, you must click the 'next' button to move on. If you don't choose the 'next' button, your child can still click around the board with the same result for that round.
The main downfall of the game is, like many others, it does not open in a full-screen. This means a child could accidentally click on other games. However, at this age parental guidance and hand-over-hand mousing is helpful. One major appeal is the simplicity of the game. There are no extraneous sounds or visuals to distract a young toddler from the task.
Medium Skill Level Color Games
These games will help your toddler learn colors. Your toddler may need or may not need parental help at this skill level, depending of course on the task.
In Chasing Rainbows, The Cat in the Hat and his friends try to catch a rainbow for the king. The game begins with a short cartoon to introduce the task and includes a fun song to help toddlers remember the colors of a rainbow. The first activity requires the child to choose the color The Cat in the Hat asks for out of a grouping of four. In the second activity, the child must choose the correct color to paint on each part of the rainbow. A short video clip plays after the activities.
Chasing Rainbows is an easy multimedia game for toddlers:
- Only requires one-click mouse skills
- Includes a cartoon, song and activities
- Directions repeat automatically
The game is fun and teaches colors in multiple ways. The only downside to the game is that it focuses on the proper colors of the rainbow, using indigo and violet, as opposed to primary and secondary colors only. This can be confusing for toddlers in finding the difference between blue and indigo or violet and purple. Also, the game does not have a full-screen option, so your child may accidentally click on other games.
Little People Shapes & Colors
Featuring Fisher Price's Little People, the Shapes & Colors game is simple and slow-paced. To start the game, your child will be asked to paint a specific shape with a specific color by clicking on the correct color and then the correct shape. The same activity repeats but features different shapes and colors to follow.
The ease of use for the game is apparent in its features:
- One-click mouse skills
- Game opens in a new window
- Utilizes a child-like voice
Little People Shapes & Colors uses simple graphics and a slow pace to teach colors alongside shapes. Although the slow pacing is desirable for young children, the directions for this game can sometimes be a bit too slow. In addition, some of the color tones are different from what your child might be used to seeing which can be confusing. For example, the red looks like a burnt orange color.
Difficult Games for Older Toddlers
Games with multi-step directions and advanced hand-eye coordination may be difficult for younger toddlers. However, older toddlers with more computer experience may find these games challenging, but not impossible.
Shapes and Colors Bingo
Educational website ABCya.com offers this fun, online Shapes and Colors Bingo game where you choose the difficulty level. The hardest level is on a five-by-five grid and uses concepts aligned with Kindergarten Common Core standards.
The colors-only level uses a three-by-three grid. A cute little ball character calls out a color and the child must click on the correct color. If she is right, you hear a cheerful bell sound and see a check mark displayed on the screen. If she is wrong, you hear a buzzer sound and see an 'X' on the screen. Once she gets three colors in a row, she wins.
Other features include:
- A "Repeat" button if the child forgets what color was called
- One-click mouse skills
- Upbeat background music
The small screen may make this game difficult for children learning mouse control. It does not open in full-screen so there are other things your child could click on accidentally.
Grow Your Colors
Sesame Street characters Grover and Rosita direct toddlers to help grow foods of different colors in Grow Your Colors. You first have the choice whether to play in English or Spanish, making this game more inclusive for bilingual children. After the characters talk about a community garden, they tell kids which colors they are already growing and ask kids to pick an image matching the color they now need. Toddlers choose the correct color seeds, then help plant them and pick the vegetable after it grows.
The best features include:
- One-click mouse skills
- Mouse movement skills
- Storyline paired with activity for slower pace
- Repetition of the selected color name
- Color name is given for each item the child clicks on
The game is easy to use and highly entertaining. The only major drawback is there isn't a full-screen option, so there are other games your child could accidentally click on. If you don't close the screen, each successive turn on the game uses a different color.
Finding Age Appropriate Games
Free online learning games often incorporate beloved television and book characters. Finding games with content matching your child's interests can help motivate him to enjoy the learning process. Start by visiting websites for your child's favorite television channels to find age-appropriate and engaging learning games. The National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families encourages games involving repetition because it "strengthens connections in the brain that help children learn."
Online color learning games can help your child grasp the knowledge of colors while also having fun. Finding online games for your toddler is an easy way to supplement other methods of learning.