Why Bright Colours Are Essential For Children’s Development

The mind of a child is like an empty sponge, ready and willing to absorb all that they see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. And when it comes to bright colours, there’s nothing more stimulating for a child in the stages of early development. 

But what is it about bright colours that attract their attention? From the age of approximately 5 months old, children begin to see colour in all its wonder. As with any new life experience, it’s not hard to imagine why colour attracts attention. 

Are you due to become a new parent in the near future? In this blog, we unpack the importance of raising a child with exposure to bright colours and how it comes to shape their everyday reality. 

Why Are Bright Colours So Fascinating to Children?

We might not remember the first few months or early years of our lives, but most children bear the same fascination with colour from a very early age. 

Picture this — you’ve had your eyes shut for the most part of 9 months in your mother’s womb. When you emerge into the world, it’s all a bit of a black and white haze for a while, then suddenly, colour comes into your life. 

Essentially, the world begins to come into focus for infants from the age of 5 months old, and colour helps to shape everything that they see. 

It goes without saying that primary colours are a top attraction for infants and young children. This is because an infant’s eyes are not fully mature by 5 months old so they tend to see and recognize primary colours better. As a child ages, secondary colours become all the more appealing as they’re able to distinguish the difference between the two. 

The attraction comes down to stimulation. Bright primary colours capture attention and become a source of learning during your parenting journey and their development. Not only this, but bright and contrasting colours also stand out better in their basic field of vision. 

Young children are constantly trying to make sense of their environment as they develop. Bright objects help children to make associations, and ultimately, recognize familiar objects. 

With colour, children also learn to sort through different colour patterns, and learn basic words. But more so than this, colour can have a huge impact on a child’s mood, attention, and association. 

So, what are the best colours to expose your little one to in their first few months of life? As mentioned, you should stick to primary block colours, such as red, yellow, and blue.

Later on, secondary colours such as green, orange, and purple will begin to catch their eye.

The Importance of Colour on Mood, Perception, and Association

Even as adults, we are impacted by colour. It has the power to change your mood and perception of space, and even influence consumer habits

As a child, colour is extremely influential in how they perceive the world around them. In essence, sight is what connects them with the world.

Not only does colour impact their mood, perception, and association, but can also influence how warm or cold and big or small a space is. 

For developing children, colour becomes an important part of how they express their thoughts and emotions. This is because colour forms the basis of how they learn. 

When it comes to early learning and development, neurons in the brain only become fully mature by the age of 5-6 years old. After that, they still take another year to mature.

This is why colour exposure in these early, formative years is so important for development. 

Naturally, young children lack the ability to read or write in their early years. As a result, they rely on colour and visual mediums to make connections, associations, and communicate. 

During a child’s brain development, colour plays a significant role in how they assess, estimate, and define an object. As adults, we’re able to perceive 150 different colours in visible light.

This means that with normal sight, a person can differentiate between millions of different colours and different objects. 

To add to this, each person creates their own ”store” of reactions and perceptions associated with colour and certain emotions. So, what you learn about colour from a very early age can have a lasting impact on you.

In short, it shapes your ability to perceive the world as an adult. 

Colour Associations 

Bright colours help children to make connections between objects. These associations help them to learn and understand what things mean around them. 

From an early age, a child might learn that the colour red associates with certain foods, such as an apple. But it also associates with certain warnings, such as danger, and emotions, such as anger. 

The same goes for the primary colour blue. To a child, they learn that this colour associates with the ocean, or the sky. But it can also impart a sense of calm and communicate emotions such as sadness.

Colour By Age: How It’s Best Perceived 

As mentioned earlier, a child perceives colours differently based on how old they are. That’s why it’s best to understand what they might see at a certain age and how to best use colour to help them learn and develop. 

0-3 Months Old 

In the first months of life, newborn babies cannot exactly see colour quite yet. In fact, much of their world exists in shades of grey, black, and white. This is because their eyes are still maturing. 

For this very reason, the use of monochrome colours is actually very beneficial. It can assist with their eyesight development, as well as visual stimulation to keep them entertained. 

High-contrast visuals in two shades, i.e. black and white, mixed with different graphic shapes make for the strongest visual impact. All in all, exposure to these colours helps your little one’s brain and visual perception develop faster. 

3-6 Months Old

As your child grows and develops, they’ll begin to make out faint or toned-down hints of colour. By the age of 5-6 months, your infant should be able to see basic primary colours.

These are the colours that they crave in terms of visual stimulation. They’re also best for their brain and visual development. Stick to simple colours, i.e. red, blue, yellow, and orange in the form of soft toys, blocks, and even bits of nursery décor. 

6-12 Months Old

After 6 months of age, your baby’s ability to see colour should be well developed. During this phase, it’s important to start introducing different colours to their life. You can branch out to the secondary colour wheel and introduce them to colours such as green, purple, oranges, and even pastels. 

This simple transition will assist with the development of your child’s visual range. It improves their ability to focus and recognize colour. It can also help to influence their mood, i.e. colourful soft toys can be soothing. 

It’s important to not overstimulate your little one with colour during this phase too. You’ll need to strike the right balance between relaxation and stimulation with colour.

Good forms of colour exposure include soft toys, play books, stacking rings and blocks, as well as wall décor. 

1-2 Years Old 

This is a super important time for development because your child might begin talking. Typically, most children start saying basic words from about 12 months old. It’s during this phase that your child will also begin to differentiate between colours and start making associations. 

At this age, you want to start introducing a range of colours to help with their:

  • Cognitive development
  • Recognition skills
  • Word-to-colour association

You can use colour recognition games to help your child actively recognize colours and making associations between everyday objects. Colouring with pencils and crayons is also a good way to stimulate creativity and allow for colour expression. 

3-4 Years Old

By this age, your child might have no issue with recognizing and identifying a range of different colours. They might be fairly adept at colour association too, naming different objects based on their colour. 

In order to help with colour stimulation, brightly-coloured picture and word books are a good idea. You want to encourage drawing and colouring with a range of bright, pastel, and black and white tones. 

Upgrading their bedroom to include bright and cheerful colours can also assist with colour recognition, association, and emotional intelligence. 

Nutura Village Has Your Family Covered

It goes without saying that bright colours are absolutely essential to the neurological and visual development of your child. With all this in mind, we have specifically designed the artwork on our tins to maximise the benefits of bright colours over softer pastels and neutral tones.

If you’re looking for parenting advice, nutritional knowledge, recipes, or general parenting resources, Nutura Village has you covered. Explore our village of knowledge, here

This article is designed to provide general advice for parents and guardians. For specific health advice, please consult with your child’s healthcare practitioner. 

Tags: Parent's Corner