Have you ever wondered how children learn colors in the Montessori classroom? It’s through a delightful sensorial activity called the Color Tablets!
Let’s examine why the Color Tablets are designed in such a unique way. Like everything included in the Montessori classroom, there is thought and consideration put into every detail of the material.
There are actually 3 different sets of Color Tablets, each housed in their own wooden boxes. Color Box One includes a paired set of each of the primary colors – 2 red, 2 yellow and 2 blue for a total of 6 tablets.
Color Box Two includes the secondary colors with a total of 22 tablets, and Color Box Three includes gradients with a total of 63 tablets!
Children first interact with the red, yellow and blue Color Tablets, learning the names of each color. The teacher might play a game with the child, asking him or her to “touch red” or “hand me blue.” The child can also match the color tablets to one another, refining visual discrimination skills!
Why do children learn colors from wooden tablets, rather then real world examples?
The main reason is to “isolate the difficulty” as Montessori would say. If children are to learn colors, they should learn only colors, not affiliated language such as red apple or blue sky.
If children know concretely what red looks like, they can apply that knowledge to the entire world around them. If they only know what a red apple is, what will they think when they see a green apple? It might be very confusing!
In this way, the Color Tablets isolate the essence of color into a simple form: a brightly painted wooden tablet.
The sky is the limit after a child learns to identify colors!
Read more ways to learn colors with your family this summer in a recent post from the Guidepost Parent community: 5 Ways to Learn Colors This Summer
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