Color is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is an energy having wavelength and frequency. Color affects the mood in adults and more so in children. Color psychology and its impact on a child’s learning abilities and behavior is a much researched subject.
Color psychology: Child learning patterns :-
Color can help connect the neuropathways in the brain. When correct color is found for a person’s problem subject, then that subject actually becomes a lot easier for the child; the student actually experiences joy of learning. Children wearing colored goggles who were made to complete pegboard tests were found to solve the tests much faster when wearing goggles of their favorite color.
A study conducted in 1993 by Boyatzis & Varghese followed by subsequent studies in 2001 and 2003 showed relationship between color preferences and student’s performance.Color has 3 basic attributes: hue, value and saturation. Color is also classified based on its temperature. Human eyes on the other hand have rods and cones that help differentiate different colors. When color passes through the retinal cells in the eyes, the receptor cells absorb the hues and send a signal to the brain where the colors are deciphered. These brain impulses also fall on the hormone regulating endocrine glands which then evoke emotional and psychological responses. (Nielson and Taylor study of 2007).
Scientific studies have now shown that students with learning disabilities and ADHD often experience distorted color discrimination. Therefore, many institutional situations require a calming environment. In the University of Alberta, the color environment of 14 severely handicapped and behaviorally challenged 8 year old kids was altered dramatically. From a white fluorescent lit classroom with orange carpets and orange, yellow and white walls and shelves, it was changed to full spectrum fluorescent lighting and brown and blue walls and shelves. The children’s aggressive behavior decreased and they also showed notable drop in blood pressure. When the environment was changed again to the way it was, the aggressive behavior and blood pressure changed to previous levels.
Games that Teach Children About Color :-
Along with books, many games use color in part to make them attractive to children while teaching them about color.
The classic children’s game, Candyland, is often a child’s first board game because of its use of color. Naturally appealing with its sugar coated fantasy, the board game doesn’t use a counter or dice, but color cards that dictate the child’s next move on the board. Along with color matching, Candyland also teaches counting skills, strategy, social skills and spatial reason to young children.
Color matching memory games, are another way to induced color learning to children with a game. Based off the typical matching game of remembering where two like cards are to make a pair, preschool children have to compare colors and match the same ones together to win. Another game geared towards teaching child to match colors is dominoes. By removing the dots that require counting and increasing the size, Jumbo Color Dominoes.
Children also react to colors on a physical level. The explanation behind this is that the light enters the Hypothalamus which controls the nerve centers, as well as the heart rate and respiration. The wavelength and energy of each color varies and affects children differently. Even newborns react to light, a fact highlighted by infant jaundice being treated with blue light.
Color brings about a vascular reflex action by increasing perspiration, the eye blinking rate and also stimulating a noticeable muscular reaction. Blue color, as shown by above experiment, reduces the blood pressure. Reactions to orange, red and yellow are same and reaction to violet color is same as that to blue. The reactions to temperature of the color are another matter; warm colors can calm one child but they may excite others. Likewise cool colors might stimulate one and relax another.
One shade of pink can be calming, another can be stimulating. Blue violet may be a mystical and spiritual color, but to some groups of college students, Blue violet induced feelings of fatigue and sadness. These students also found a shade called “cool green” as angering and confusing.
Let us now study how different colors can impact learning and memory in kids.
Here are some guidelines from Frank H. Mahnke from his book Color, Environment and Human Response for choosing colors based on age of kids especially for Academic environments
While so many of the tools used to teach children about colors are “classic” the internet and online games have also provided excellent opportunities for children to learn about colors. Some online color education tools focus on specific color skill like color recognition, matching and color concentration and might require the child to have some reading ability. Other’s such as Fishers Price’s Color and Shape game plays more like an interactive video and requires the very basic computer skills.
Of course, since color is a part of everyday life, there are many opportunities to teach children about color during every day lving. One way to teach children about color is to pick a new color every week and completely focus on that color over time though food choices, activities, etc.
So, no matter what color this week might be, enjoy bringing te beauty of color to a young person while you teach a achild about color. Do you have a favorite book or game that teaches color? We would love to hear your recommendations.
Have a little scribble artist nearby? No worries, they’ll grow out of it eventually ;). In the meantime, here is an organized master tip file that I’ve gathered over time. Keep in mind some paint finishes may be dulled or damaged by a particular method, so test a small area of the surface first
If you’re dealing with wallpaper, you’ll need to work carefully and make sure to test a small hidden area first. Watch for paper discoloration as well as paper fiber damage. Things like WD-40 and solvents of any kind may leave stains behind, so take your time finding the right solution, the non-washable varieties are especially tricky (I did add some tips to the bottom of this page).