Learning Colors with Crayons

by Quinn Larson

While out shopping with my daughter, Francesca, a few weeks ago we came across a back to school display.  This particular display had bins full of pens, pencils, rulers, erasers etc… all the bits and bobs needed for a successful start to the upcoming school year.  To me this was a two year old wrangling horror scene, to her a veritable gold mind of mayhem, fascination and fun.

Of course she had immediately submerged herself in the offerings, which, on a display strategically leveled for children, was essentially everything.  To avoid the increasingly possibility of an in store meltdown I opted to employ the, “You can have one thing” technique.  Looking desperately for an item I knew she wouldn’t lose interest in 2 minutes after leaving the store, I saw it.  Shining like a beacon of light amongst the sea of school related accoutrements was a 50 cents price sign hanging above a bin full of crayon boxes.  Score! We hadn’t tried the crayon thing in a while. In previous attempts those that weren’t launched across the room, ended up as an afternoon snack. That was a couple months ago and now looked as good a time as any give it another go. I geared up my, “super excited” face and let out an enthusiastic, “Frankie! Look they have crayons! Wow!!! How about a box of these?” Falling for my excitement she immediately dropped the hand full of pink erasers she was decorating the floor with, toddled over to the tub of crayons and picked out the box of her choice.

Back at home, with the crayon box open and coloring book open, Frankie started pulling out the colors and giving each one a name, that I soon realized was an object representing the same color. Green was tree, yellow was nana (aka banana), white was moon etc… I decided this crayon box was an ideal vehicle to start teaching her colors.    As she would pull one out of the box I would ask, “What color is that?” then correct her response as the proper color name. Easy to pronounce color names were the first she grasped.  “Boo”, “bean”, “bac,” she would shout in her best pronunciation.  She loves to color pictures with you, so I would ask her to give me a crayon color by name, “Frankie let’s color the mermaid’s hair yellow.”  She would search through the crayons splayed out over the table (as the cardboard box had long since been demolished) and select a color.  I corrected her when she was wrong, “That’s brown, let’s use yellow,” and praise her when she got it right.   Gradually she got more and more correct.  Confident in her new found color mastery, she now calls out the color of everything. “Red shirt”, “yellow hair”, “blue cup.”  Our next step now will be moving up the crayon hierarchy from the basic box to the advanced box.

My sincerest thanks crayon manufacturer for your fun, wonderfully color balanced and educational product!

Colorfully yours,


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