26 answers

3 (Almost 4) Year Old Doesn't Know Colors.

My son will be 4 in January and STILL doesn't seem to know his colors. When he is asked what color something he is he always says "green" or "red" without even looking at what you are pointing at. I can't figure out if he doesn't what it means to have a color or if he truly cannot distinugish one color from another. Anyone know of a way to determine this?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

How much have you worked on this? Is he in preschool? It's not uncommon for three year olds not to know all the colors yet. I work with three year olds. Make a game out of learning them......when you're driving...find something..."GREEN" or "RED". Make them OBVIOUS at this age......like a stop sign, etc. This helps them learn to focus, too.

Talk about it with laundry, lunch, at the grocery store, etc. Make a learning experience out of ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING! Do the same with math......how many stop lights until we're home? Then work on subtraction in the same way until you GET home.

You'll be amazed at how well prepared they are for school if you take EVERY experience to interact and help them learn!

Can he match alike colors? That is a good starting point to see if he can identify the differences in colors.

Try asking him in a different way... lay out the basic 8 colors and ask him to hand you the red,the green, the blue and so on. if he gets some right dont work so hard on them if he dose not know any get him tested for color blindness if you think that is the problem. but some time when you ask the children what color this is they give you a answer if they know it or not so that you will stop asking. make up color games by going out side and playing i spy and let him ask the i spy as well so that he feels that he is incharge of the game to

More Answers

He could be color blind. It's actually more prevelent in boys than girls. I am a teacher & taught a 1st grade boy with it several years ago. He was learning to read the colors on the crayons when he colored.

Take him to the eye Dr. When I had my 3 older children, 2 girls and 1 boy, at an appointment when they were younger the Dr did a color blindness test on my son, having the girls watch to make sure he was telling the right color. The Dr said that color blindness affects boys more than girls. Good Luck!

Since he doesn't even look to see the color of something, I think he probably just doesn't care. I wouldn't force the issue, just periodically throw in color identification by having him go and get something of a certain color. Boys go through stages where they will throw out an answer because they don't care. My son would put 1 line on a coloring sheet and say he was done coloring. It didn't interest him.
While you would not be wrong with going to the eye doctor, I don't think it is necessary until you give him some periodic color tasks to complete and see if can do those. There are two common types of color blindness. I know one is red/green and the other one is blue/??? I don't remember the other one. Maybe someone else does or you could find it online.
Good Luck and don't stress just yet about it. The key to your story for me was that he didn't even look to see the object. I think this means he doesn't care.

Dear TL,

It is funny that you mentioned Red and Green. Have you had him screened for color blindness? My husband is red-green deficient, and he cannot see red or green, so he avoids all color identification when ever possible, it drives him crazy to not know what color he is seeing, or to make a mistake and identify the wrong color. If you see nothing else in his development that makes you wonder, I would see who does this screen and have it checked out.


Could he be color blind? I say this because my husband and his father were and are color blind. My husband's mother thought for years he was just being mean and hateful saying things like will you stop buying pink curtains. She never owned a set of pink curtains. Red green color blindness is very commom but they also have blue yellow color blindness. One way to tell is using wat the DMV does. A circle of red or green dots witrh a number made in the opposite color. Try making one with coloring pencils or crayons. Also another would be to get shapes or blocks in different colors and ask him to group them by color.

Can he match alike colors? That is a good starting point to see if he can identify the differences in colors.

It is my understanding that colorblindness usually involves an inability to see one or two colors. I had a fellow student in art school who's paintings had these acidy green streaks in them. We thought he just had an odd color sense but our teacher new better and tested him for colorblindness and he couldn't see the green. He thought it was gray.

sounds like he's just being lazy and doesn't want to answer you correctly! lol
you can get color-blindness tests with numbers or shapes for little kids who can't tell you names of colors, letters or numbers, if you're worried about that. If he knows a circle and a square, find a test with shapes instead.

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