Summary of “How to Teach Your Kid Colors”

When my daughter was very young, we would read the toddler classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? In the story, the title character spots a red bird, a yellow duck, a blue horse, a green frog, a purple cat, a white dog, a black sheep and a goldfish.
It’s a lovely book, but now I know it’s probably not a great one for teaching a kid her colors.
We like to use color words “Prenominally,” meaning before nouns.
We’ll often say things like “The red balloon,” instead of using the postnominal construction, “The balloon is red.”
Say “The balloon is red,” for example, and you will have helped to narrow “Red-ness” to being an attribute of the balloon, and not some general property of the world at large.
This helps kids discern what about the balloon makes it red.
In her study, when kids heard the color words postnominally, their learning improved significantly.
The takeaway: Instead of saying “The red balloon,” say “The balloon is red.” Or change up the title of your favorite toddler book: “Brown Bear … oops, I mean bear who is brown.”

The orginal article.