Monday, November 19, 2012

Teaching Colors Using Multi-Sensory Instruction

If you are working with a student who is having difficulty learning his colors, implementing a multi-sensory approach might be effective.

Pair each color with a song. The following songs are nice because each color song has a different tune:

Black Color Song
Red Color Song
Yellow Color Song
Blue Color Song
Green Color Song
Purple Color Song
Orange Color Song

Pair each color with a scent. (The child can even smell the appropriate scent while she sings each color song). Scented markers are great and are available at Amazon.

Black- Licorice                Red-Cherry             Blue-Blueberry
Yellow-Lemon                Green-Mint              Orange-Orange
Brown-Cinnamon         Purple-Grape          Pink-Melon
Turquoise-Mango      Dark Green-Apple    Magenta-Raspberry

Photo Credit Salvatore Vuono @

Connect the color with something meaningful. "Goldfish snacks are orange. The ball in the therapy room is blue." Food is especially good because it pulls in the sense of taste...."lemons are yellow, orange juice is orange."

Here's an example of an approach I used in therapy:

The student sits on the red therapy ball and tosses several red balls into a red bucket as I sing or play the "red song". Then we move to a table and the child colors a picture of a red firetruck  using the red scented marker while the "red song" is playing in the background.

Eventually, the pairing should not be necessary, but initially the goal is to help the student associate the smells, songs, etc. with the particular colors. At some point, when the child sees the color green, the song & smell for green should come to mind and this will help them remember "that's the color green." 


1 comment:

  1. Great article. Thank you for sharing. As a music therapist, I love that it includes songs too! I have shared this on my FB page to spread the word to my readers. Thanks again!

    Ryan Judd, MA, MT-BC