It was usually thought that children are born colourblind and learn to distinguish colours over time. Recent researches have shown that it is not true, as babies as young as four months old have preferences of colours. That‘s why colours are even more important in a child‘s life, and in even younger age than thought before.
If we believe researchers from Surrey Baby Lab, children distinguish colours right after they are born. They learn the names of the colours in ages 2 to 5, and the first names they learn are of the colours they like, which are bright and clear, like red, yellow or green. Red and yellow are thought to be the favourite colours of babies and children up to the age of 5. Since the age of 6, children usually learn more colours and their opinions toward them tend to become more individual and different from other children.
It is important to know which colours your child enjoys the most and which of them the least, because for them it’s the same as for the grownups – imagine having to spend a lot of time in a room painted in a colour you hate. That’s why children always have to participate in choosing the colours of their room walls, their toys or clothes.
This also helps children to express themselves. Children which can choose the colours of the objects in their room, their clothes, or the ones which they use to paint, tend to become more capable to express themselves, more easygoing and confident. On the other hand, the children who are told when and where to use what colour, tend to have difficulties when making choices in their later life.
Colours can also teach children a certain way of life. For example, if a child is surrounded by natural, rich colours and the colour tones met in nature, like various greens or earth tones, he or she can be expected to be respectful to nature and more eco-friendly in later life. So if you think of environment as an important thing and want your children to think the same, you should not only teach them to recycle, but also send suliminal messages to them. Objects and clothes painted in natural colours should help you in this case.
But never forget to let your child choose the colours that surround him. If he or she doesn‘t like the natural tones, it doesn‘t mean he or she won‘t respect the environment in later life. There are other ways to teach that, while the all-important quality of the ability to express themselves is probably best teached by letting your children to show and express their preferences of colours.