We have a bright 23-month-old girl who can count to 11 and say her ABCs to the letter “E.” But she misses concepts on colours. To her, everything is “blue.” Should we be worried?
Absolutely not. For reasons that are not fully understood, learning to identify colours by name appears to be more difficult for very young children than learning to recite numbers and letters.
Think about it for a minute. If you teach her to “count” to 11 (or however far she can go) or the letters of the alphabet, she merely has to remember and repeat what she heard you say. But if you hold up a red ball and ask, “What colour is this?” she has to run her mind through a far more complex task. First, she has to make a judgment about the colour (blue? red? green?). Then she has to remember the name of that particular colour.
So don’t worry one bit. She will learn to recognize and correctly label different colours during the next year. It sounds as though she is a very bright little girl who will keep you on your toes. Be sure that the time you spend with her includes plenty of affectionate care without too much formal teaching of numbers and letters. Read to her every day and help her acquire a love of books and sounds. Comment on the colours in the books you read, in her dresses, in foods and in furniture about the house. In no time she’ll be correctly identifying them.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.