Inspired by the world famous Montessori color tablets exercise, this app introduces children to the wonderful world of color. It’s also one of the best ways for us, as adults, to appreciate the Montessori method.
As with all things Montessori, we start with the foundations, slowly building up to a more nuanced appreciation of the concept. Here, we isolate one difficulty at a time, as we progress through the building blocks of color.
Children will be introduced to primary, secondary and even tertiary colors, having the opportunity to challenge themselves through a series of exercises.
Through playfully illustrated seek-and-find activities, children will also be able to make associations between the concept of color, and corresponding objects.
We hope you enjoy! If you have any questions, or if there’s anything we can help with, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always happy to hear from you, and help in any way that we can.
Bobby and June George
With self-directed activities, we will walk your child or student through the primary colors. These interactive exercises utilize the Montessori color tablets. Children will drag, match and tap on the primary colors, while confirming their understanding. As a side note: for those like us that thought green was a primary color, we owe our misunderstanding to Aristotle.
Once an appreciation has been gained for the primary colors, we progress to the next step in the series: an introduction to the secondary colors. Building upon the exercises in the first section, we extend the colors to encompass orange, green, blue, purple, black, pink, brown, grey and white.
Spin the wheel. Choose your color. In this activity, your child or student will be tasked with organizing the colors from light to dark, or from dark to light. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that the child has an understanding of color, and extending their knowledge of the spectrum. Drag to reorder!
This is one of our favorite sections in the app. It allows children an opportunity to free form color. What is also unique about the Montessori approach to color, is that, instead of offering one of every color, we start only with the foundations, red, yellow, blue. What we hope children discover on their own, is what colors are made when multiple colors intersect. For instance, if you add a bit of yellow to red, what happens? Orange appears!
In one the most beloved activities, we spice things up with a little seek-and-find. With beautiful illustrations, the app prompts your child or student to discover a color. “Which one is, pink?” By doing things this way, we are now associating that color with an object. This is the final connection before a firm grasp of the concept can be acquired. “Can you find, green?”
Beyond the App
While at root a seemingly basic app, Intro to Colors provides a the foundations of a complex understanding of color.
The genius of Montessori was to isolate a single concept (red, blue, yellow, etc.) in a concrete form. Instead of pointing to the sky and saying “that is blue”, when it could really be light blue, or gray or orange, Montessori places the ‘sky’ in the color tablets.
Essentially, the role of Montessori is to put the child in touch with the abstract, through the concrete. Here are a few practical suggestions on how to incorporate this concept at home or school:
Activities that allow primary colors to be mixed, such as water coloring, provide children with a chance to discover the magic of colors. While boxes of crayons, with varying shades and multitudes of names can be pretty spectacular, so is seeing what you can make with just the three primary colors. This will lay the foundations for a concrete appreciation.
Any opportunity we have to “isolate one difficulty” at a time, the better. Most of us grew up learning the color “red” through the association of an “apple”. “This is red,” our teacher would say as they held up an app. First, an apple is actually an apple. Second, apples aren’t always red. They can be green, or orange, or yellow, or…As adults, it’s super helpful if we try our best to be mindful of this distinction as we try to help children learn about colors.