4 tips to teach children to recognize colors

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Show the children all the "artificial" colors or colors existing in nature. What's more beautiful and educational? For the stimulation of the senses, it is advisable to show the very little ones all the main colors, in order to make them learn the differences and nuances. We interviewed the illustrator Allegra Agliardi, who created the book Di tutti i colori (Terre di Mezzo Editore), a text with images and nursery rhymes that teaches and shows small children colors and stimulates their creativity. The author told us how the idea for the book was born, which has already been successful internationally, and she explained to us what her message is about colors and why they are so important.

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4 tips for parents struggling with small children who are learning and, therefore, discovering colors

1. Zero stress. «Do not get stressed and do not stress the children with colors because they take a long time to learn them. I was afraid, for example, that my son was color blind. Children reach the age of 3 without knowing how to recognize them. Then I realized that some children recognize certain colors, while others don't. So let's not force them, but keep the pleasure of colors alive in them ».

2. Sensory experiences with colors. «Let the children dip their hands in the polenta flour, in the paint, in the brown earth. The ability to name colors comes slowly and later ». Allegra explains that small experiments can be made with the little ones, such as, for example, offering them orange leaves with different shades and making them observe the differences, presenting this operation as a game ».

3. To make children think about colors. «You can reason, with the child, about which colors he prefers and the emotions or sensations he feels looking at them. We can ask him, for example, "Which green do you like? How do you feel looking at it?". Once you have immersed yourself in the world of colors, you just need to go ahead and play ».

Allegra emphasizes that it is better not to worry if the children are not interested in colors yet, it is normal: there are those who are immediately fascinated and those who, on the other hand, arrive later.

4. Neutral colors in the furniture. «In my opinion, color influences a lot. Speaking, for example, of furniture, you opt for a neutral color, for example, for furniture and walls, so that you can always re-invent the space. With a neutral room during the day you can place red or other brighter colored objects, while at night it is possible to use colors that induce relaxation, such as green or blue ».

a text about colors

«The book was born from the pleasure of color and from my childhood memories. Even the nursery rhymes that are present in the text derive from my memories: I connect them to color. All of us, in fact, have very vivid and sensorial memories of childhood in which color is associated with tactile sensation, smell, experience ».

«This gave rise to a set of associations in me, from which the idea of ​​the book was born and to insert, inside it, a hole that crosses the cardboard pages and to make the little readers feel color as a material. In fact, in my text, each color has its own texture, its own "stain". I realized that other children's books had standard and flat colors: so I wanted to describe color as something alive, playful, pleasant, that is, a discovery ».

“After getting the idea for the book project, I found an English publisher, Tate, who asked me to develop the project with a more international slant. We then worked on the choice of subjects. Subsequently, there was the drafting of the texts, their re-elaboration and subsequently my rereading ».

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Colors for the sensory stimulation of the very young

Allegra Agliardi explained that she wanted to tell, with this text, the various sensations procured by colors and, together with this, also the pleasure of small things. “In making the book, I didn't have any intentional didactic purposes, but, obviously, these are intrinsic. Color today is not at hand for those who live in the city: in this way the sensoriality is lost and therefore my book, in this historical period, takes on greater value ».

«The contemporary world is bombarded with very strong colors, instead it is currently necessary to bring children back to things that were obvious to our generation, but which are being lost, for example to nature, which offers many colors. Color is the starting point to explore, to look around, to be active ».

Allegra explained that the theme of colors is not addressed in the book according to the canonical classification into primary and secondary and said that she preferred the "red thread" of experience, choosing four colors: yellows, blues, reds, greens.

“In the end I favored the experience and therefore a link with direct sensations: green is fresh, red is joyful, blue is depth, yellow is light. To make the personality of these colors perceive: this was my intention ».

The structure of the book

«The book is divided into four macro-areas, that is, four classes of colors. Afterwards, I went on to postpone feelings. The text is very rhythmic: on the first page there is a first sentence with a hole in the cardboard, on the next page the hole becomes something else, and so on ».

“Then there is always a texture of color. The color changes according to the images and pages and evokes different sensations, physical, sensorial. There are very different designs: we go from the smooth emerald stone, to cold ice cream, to the shell of the turtle, to the sea, to the air. The object looked at changes consistency and size. The "hole" in the center of the pages can represent everything: it is a sort of space-time gap. Even the nursery rhymes were written by me: the contents are linked to the drawings ».



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