Children in junior and senior infants should learn to identify and name different colours. Activities that develop an appreciation of light, colour and different shades of colour will involve the pupils in

  • Collecting objects and materials for colour tables. For instance, a ‘red table’ will include many items to represent the different shades of one colour that can be found. The children can arrange the items in order, from the darkest to the lightest. This will develop an awareness of variation within one colour.
  • Making collections of seasonal colours throughout the year. Children can display different-coloured items found in the environment during the different seasons, such as the brown, gold, red and yellow colours of falling leaves and various fruits and seeds.
  • Exploring colours in the street, village or locality. Children can go on ‘colour walks’ during the different seasons and observe. 
  • The colours that make the best signs
  • Signs that can be seen at night  
  • The colours that are associated with danger, for example in traffic lights and pedestrian crossings
  • The colours used for different elements of street furniture (litter bins, street lights, letter boxes, traffic lights and hydrant points)  
  • Colours that blend into the background and are hard to see

The children might experiment and devise tests to establish the colours that are more visible in daylight, in the school yard and in the artificial light of the classroom. They might test the following ideas:

  • Which colour of coat should the crossing warden wear?
  • Which colours are the best for a road sign?