Soon to Be 4 Year Old Not Learning Colors

Updated on September 04, 2008
J.T. asks from Jupiter, FL
25 answers

My son will be 4 in April and I and his preschool have noticed that he isn't doing very well learning his colors. I will admit that this is something that I have not worked with him on. Whenever you ask him what color something is, he immediately says green regardless of whether or not he has even looked at the object. Once he looks at the object he will still say it is green and if it isnt green i will tell him to look at it carefully and tell me what color it is. After the first initial calling the object green, he can recognize a yellow object, some blue objects, and he can always recognize black. He seems to have a hard time with red and orange. He can match a red block with a red bucket or an orange block with an orange bucket, but when asked what color it is he doesnt's know. He started talking later than usual, a little after his 3rd birthday was when he really started talking, so I don't know if that is a factor or not. His school says that he does well with shapes and letters and he is just having trouble with colors. I was just curious if anyone had any insight on this. He goes for his 4 year check up in April, I figure i will work with him every night and see if that helps, if not then I will discuss it with his Dr. in April. I am open to any and all suggestions.

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B.

answers from Boca Raton on

My nephew was almost 5. They tried all kinds of things to teach him colors. He was on target with everything else. Then they broke out the mini M&M's and he got to eat it if he got the color right. He had them all down within a couple days. My son was almost three and I noticed he didn't get his colors right either. Everything was blue. It only took him a couple days as well. Amazing what a little chocolate can do. If you're a health nut then you can use food coloring in tofu ice cream.

Good Luck.

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J.S.

answers from Miami on

My son has been watching this educational DVD called MEET THE COLORS, available at BabyLove. He is 14 months old & knows his colors, just from this DVD. It is great - I am a teacher, and this video is all repetition, with the same patterns that are very easy for little minds to grasp.
I am not a big fan of DVDs, but this series, by a company called PreSchool Prep Company, is terrific!
good luck,
J. S.

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E.D.

answers from Boca Raton on

It sounds as though he may be color blind. You should have him tested by an ophthalmologist. I remember learning that this condition is more common in males.

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D.B.

answers from Melbourne on

Hello. My son was 3 when we found out he was delayed. He also had trouble with colors, letters, and numbers. We got him into the Pre-K in our area. We called the Admin. Office and told them that I would like my son to be tested to see if he qualifies for any of the classes they offer. It is about an hour or 2 to go through the testing and is very easy on him and my little boy didn't feel presured to answer the questions. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

D.
[email protected]____.com

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K.A.

answers from Melbourne on

Wow, we have alot in common. I also have a 4 year old son, I am a part time secretary and my husband is also a police officer. I have a 7 year old daughter and also a 5 month old daughter. As far as your son and his colors it might be he is color blind. I am not sure, but I would just continue working with him at home and just wait until your April appointment and consult your Dr. he or she will know best. Try not to worry.

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L.V.

answers from Miami on

Hi,

My son will be 4 in less than two weeks and I had a similar issue, he was also a late talker. I noticed the color issues with him before he turned three so I had him tested (yes I am a little nutty). I was afraid he might be color blind. Basicly, what they told me was that it was normal for him to only recognize a few colors and that in boys, primary colors like green and red are normally the ones they recognize first. I beleive the time frame I was given was until he was about 4 to 5 for him to recognize most of the colors in a rainbow. I bought some flash cards at Target and worked with him every night for a couple of weeks and he began to get it without a problem. Before you really begin to worry, I would work with him like you plan to do and then see what happens. I hope this was helpful.

Lou in Pembroke Pines

J.D.

answers from Boca Raton on

You don't have to wait to April to call your pediatrician.............call and ask! Colors were the last thing my daughter learned so I was concerned..........now she even knows chartruce!!!! Try to work with him at home....check a baby book of colors or get a "workbook" they tells you to color the tree green, etc. I wouldn't worry about it, but FYI it is VERY common that boys are color deficient.......NOT a big deal..........hope that helps

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D.V.

answers from Miami on

Wow, I was reading your comment and felt as if it had been written by myself just one year ago. I have a 4 and 1/2 year old boy and we went through this exact issue approximately one year ago. He would call everything "green" and had the most problems with shades of red and orange. We did a lot of researching and took him to a specialist in our area because we were very concerned. Our son has had a number of hurdles since birth and, although he is really blossoming now, we wanted to make sure we were not facing another problem. Nevertheless, we were informed this is very common--especially with little boys. The test results showed he was able to identify other objects just not some colors. Since then, he has been able to learn all of his colors--in English and Spanish--even if a little slower than his cousins and friends. Don't worry too much and give it some more time. Best regards, Doris.

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D.C.

answers from Boca Raton on

J.,

Have you had his sight tested? There is a possibility that he could be color blind. That's the first thing that came to mind. My father-in-law is color blind, and he can tell the difference between SOME colors, because they cast different shades. But that's it.

I would ocnsider that, if you have not already done so.

D.

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M.S.

answers from Miami on

You may want to ask your pediatrician if he can test for "color blindness". A friend of mine in college was color blind and he could not see any colors other than green or blue evrything else was "like shades of grey" he used to say. So your son may be able to match "the shade" but does not distinguish it as a different color. Good Luck.

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M.B.

answers from Miami on

Sounds like classic color blindness.. is common for boys

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M.G.

answers from Ponce on

Dear Jessi:(X'me my english)I'm a mother of 21,16 and 12. No everybody learn at like time, and equal way.But don't afraid the dr. will check, for Daltonism sindrome. for the color clasific dificults. I speak spanish, please keeping, calm and work with love to your sun. God bless you. M..

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S.D.

answers from Port St. Lucie on

hey J.
my brother is color blind and this sounds very familiar. he can match some colors but it sounds like your son is going for the primary colors which is what is the boldest.
don't worry he'll be fine my brother has made it although he has had a few funny color mix ups! good luck and call your pedi. if your really worried or even send him to an eye doctor.

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M.C.

answers from Miami on

Maybe you should talk to your doctor about color blindness especially since it is more prevalent in boys.

They normally have problems with red, blue or green or a combination of the colors. I'm no doctor so I wouldn't want you to jump to conclusions. Discuss it with your doctor.

Maybe your son just hasn't grasped that concept yet. My son is 6 and is all of a sudden getting things students in his school were getting a year ago. Each child has their own pace. :-)

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J.J.

answers from San Juan on

first and foremost, take your child to a pediatric oftalmologist, who will take a more indepth look at your child's eyes than your regular lenscrafters eye-doctor. This may be a bit difficult, since here in PR there are very few. Check with the doctor's book of your health plan and take him there. Make sure you have at least half a day to do this, since the doctor quite likely will dilate the pupils of your baby boy and that is uncomfortable for the little tykes. once you are sure his eyes are ok, take a nap. It is one of those developmental phases kids go thru and if his teacher is half-way competent, she will have him learning his colors by the time he reaches 4 1/2.

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T.T.

answers from Miami on

J., I don't know much about it, but it sounds like your son may be color blind. It might help you to do a little research on the topic and see if the characteristics of color blindness match up with what you are seeing with your son. I do recognize some of the things you mentioned as characteristics, especially seeing everything as green.

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N.J.

answers from Boca Raton on

Him I just read your request and boy do I feel your pain. My daughter is three and will be four in November. She has been in a preschool for a year, however I allowed her to attend the daycare in my grandmothers home....I was so embarrassed-all of the kids that my grandmother teaches, knows there colors, shapes and numbers. My daughter could not recognize any of these about three weeks ago. So I started becoming very anul with her, we did a color per day. She does not have them down completely but very close. She wears the color that we are going over then I have her to say the color in a complete sentence. For instance, my shirt is blue. I have found that when she says the comlete sentence that she actually remembers it.
So good luck to you and I am learning that kids learn at different pace. As parents you do the best that you can to educate him, and when it's time he will begin to pick it up as I am learning.

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J.B.

answers from Miami on

I think hes still a baby and isnt taking it seriously because hes not old enough to understand..but it could be that he needs glasses or he might be color blind...when my daughter was that age she had a hard time too. And she started wearing glasses at 5 yrs old...just get his eyes checked out and keep working with him. He'll be fine......

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M.G.

answers from Miami on

Hi J.,

You can just pick a color for a week or a day whatever works best for you and you 4-year-old. Let say red. Look for items like food, toys, ect with those colors. An apple, a red car, red ball, his favorite red shirt. ect Also would be good to work with some finger painting; maybe he can paint a picture just using that color. Just try to keep simple and fun so he doesn't loss interest. I also found this article in how to do fun activities http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/227496/easy_acti...

I hope this helps. Best luck

M. G

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M.A.

answers from Miami on

Hi J..
I am a teacher and mother of a 3 and a half year old boy.
It is important to know how your child learns better, for example, listening, or visual or through games.As a teacher I know the importance of children learning while they R playing.
A good activity could be printing out colors in any shape and putting a color in a basket, then ask your son to look all over the house for things that r the same color as the color in the basket, and give him 5 min, to get as many things as he can find, that way he gets to say at the end, I found a blue pillow, and a blue pen, a blue sticker, that way he will be repeating the color several times.
Also pbs has a great game of matching colors with grover.
Good luck!
Maria Isabel Arias

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Y.B.

answers from Miami on

Hi J.,

My nephew was the same way. Basically my brother just started sitting with him longer and dedicating more time to the colors and eventually he got it. Not everyone develops the same. Anyway do bring it up to your Dr. but keep working on it with him and be positive. I am sure it will all work out

Sincerely,
Y.

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B.E.

answers from Boca Raton on

Does anyone in your husband's family have red-green colorblindness? It's genetic, I believe thru father's genetic line. Ask your MD.

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D.H.

answers from Melbourne on

Give him a chance to work with you on learning the colors, If nothing changes, then he may have a prohlem with color blindness. I know a number of friends of my daughter that have that problem. They live perfectly normal lives, no ramifications. They have gotten their license, can differentiate between the colors at stop lights. It does not effect them in any negative way. I would like I said work with him but realize that blues, blacks and greens are simular, and reds and oranges are a different hue, so it may very well be color blindness if he does not seem to get the difference soon. Of course talke to your doctor about it soon.

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P.L.

answers from San Juan on

Everyone at home wear red one day and all talk about the red shirt the red pants the red shoes the red ...........
Then buy a red balloon and have red drinks for lunch or dinner (cranberry juice or anything cherry color)

Another day with a different color.
On the way to school or nursery point out thing you see that are red
The point here is to make it a real experience for a few days
Play with it and make sure your son enjoys what he is doing
Good luck

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