This Giant Color Sorting activity is one of our favorites because it get the kids moving!
Children get exercise while becoming familiar with giant-sized Chinese characters.
In addition, the color sorting activity is great because kids learn to categorize things in the home.
I promise it takes almost no time and effort to prepare!
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When is the best time to teach your child colors?
“Lessons” about colors are an ongoing, often subtle process from birth. At birth, children first notice high contrast colors (black, white, red), and then other colors of the rainbow in their first year of life.
When you are reading and playing with your child, take a moment to point out and describe objects by their color. Compare colors and point out when colors match, such as with clothing, food, and flowers!
Gradually, children will recognize the pattern through observation, repetition, and frequent discussion.
In addition, you can also focus on one color at a time, such as, highlighting red objects for one week, then orange the following week, etc.
What age should my child do sorting activities?
Although all children develop at their own pace, they typically learn color sorting skills between age 1-4 years. Even before children know color names, they can often group and match colors.
My 老大 (lǎo dà / oldest child) who is currently 5 years old was naming and sorting colors before age 18 months. On the other hand, my son, who is currently only 15 months, is just observing and trying to copy his older sister!
Implementing language into activities
My children are learning color names in 3 languages: English, the dominant language, plus Chinese and Korean, the minority languages. We generally follow the One Person One Language method, and I mainly speak Chinese with my children.
Since we live in a small town and my children rarely meet people who speak other languages, we try to make the minority languages as fun as possible at home!
In addition, my children primarily get to see Chinese characters at home. Therefore, I try to make Chinese fun and relevant by including Chinese in these color matching activities!
Color names in Chinese, Pinyin, and English: Important vocabulary
- 颜色 (Yánsè / colors)
- 红, 橙, 黄, 绿, 蓝, 紫, 粉, 棕 (Hóng, chéng, huáng, lǜ, lán, zǐ, fěn, sōng / red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, brown)
- 原色 (Yuánsè / primary color)
- 二次色 (Èr cì sè / secondary color)
Giant color sorting activity: What you need
- 8″x11″ Colorful paper
- Laminator (optional)
- Laminator sheets (optional)
- Painter’s tape
- Printable Chinese color names in large Kaiti font*: free download available in simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese
- Colorful objects (eg, Grimm Wooden Friends, B. Toys One Two Squeeze Blocks, Ikea Cups, Colorful Clothespins, Grimm Wooden Stacker)
*Note: Songti font was used for the Chinese characters in the photos. However, I am gradually changing all printables to Kaiti font which better represents stroke order. These printables have been updated to Kaiti font.
Giant color sorting activity: What to do
- Print out Chinese color names onto corresponding colored paper
- Laminate each sheet (recommended for repeat use)
- Affix colorful sheets to surface with painter’s tape.
- We placed the colors in rainbow order, but you can spread them out throughout the room to encourage more exercise! My children are often more excited when they are running around!
- Gather colorful objects
- Start naming and matching colors!
Have you tried Giant Color Sorting?
If you try this activity, please let us know in the comments below!
We love to hear about how other families are learning Chinese!
More hands-on learning activities for children
- Color matching activities for children
- Educational activities library organized by topic
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