Research shows that colours have a significant influence in your life. Know your colours, because the colour of your child’s room, his/her school bag, the colour of the soap your child uses, the colour of his/her plate, the colours of the food on his/her plate all have the potential to influence the child. .
When a child is a toddler, the favourite colour is inevitably, the colour red. ‘I want a red ball, red shoes, red car’ etc. And then comes the awareness of other colours from primary to secondary and then to a mix and match and sometimes conjuring up their own colours. Colours are something that we take for granted in the environment but if used well can help you get the best out of your child and even your husband!
Colours have an impact on our moods and emotions; this is a known fact of colour therapy. Children bring colour to our life, so let’s add more colour to their life.
Did you know that colours impact your health? Well here are a few interesting facts about colours.
- Red is a warming and stimulating colour and excessive amounts can lead to anger, irritability or hyperactivity, naturally because it is a stimulating colour.
- Orange is an anti depressant colour, which means it can make you joyous; no wonder some communities tie colourful orange flowers on their doors!
- Yellow is calming, promotes well being and happiness and in children it is associated as a happy colour- happy sun, happy sunflowers…..
- Green is again calming and relaxing and imparts a feeling of energy. Try walking on green grass or going to a green garden, you automatically feel calm, relaxed and rejuvenated.
- Blue is a soothing colour and induces calm and restful sleep without nightmares!
- And brain research says that colours that enhance brain function are- yellow, beige and off white for optimal learning and red, orange and yellow spark energy and creativity.
Now let’s enhance children’s lives both at home and school with these facts….
Why are school uniforms boring grey or brown? Why not have yellow, beige and off white? After all they are for optimal learning. Similarly a child spends close to 3 to 7 hours in school depending on his age, why can’t the walls be a bright yellow or a soft orange to spark energy and creativity?
Most children’s hospitals have now redone their walls and even the uniforms of the nurses have changed from white to light blue, because blue is a soothing colour and induces a sense of calm, so required for patients.
In our everyday shopping we generally don’t give that much importance or thought to colours, we first give preference to the price, the size and then select from the given colours the colour we like. But we may end up with a ‘tattered rainbow’ for our child. Think about it, a bright yellow in your child’s bedroom, red pyjamas, and orange bed sheets! So you have a child who is bright and ready to learn with the yellow, hyperactive with the red and ready for something creative with the orange colour, and then you say ‘my kid is active at bedtime, how do I make him sleep?’. Simple with light green bed sheets, light blue pyjamas and so on.
When one knows that colours make an impact then use your colour sense when buying anything for your child and also try to see that there is a combination of colours otherwise I am sure it would be quire boring to have yellow snack box, yellow water bottle, yellow bag, and yellow pencil. Yes, I heard you say that my child insists on one colour, perfect no problem, but there can be designs on those colours? They need not be a plain yellow, right?
There are other ways that you can use your newly learnt colour knowledge, how about your child’s food plate? If you are using plastic or melamine then try out colours that attract your child to the plate, instead of the boring white. Also the food that you serve the child should be in different colours, I am not asking that you add food colours but a riot of colours on a food plate makes a child feel attracted and even the pickiest of eater at least starts nibbling, so try for at least 3 colours in every meal- so have something red (ketchup, cherries, tomatoes) have something green (cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, broccoli) have something yellow (dal, sabzi). Then of course there is purple, white and orange to experiment and add. Play a game with your child and ask him to choose a menu for the next meal which will have red, yellow and white. So you have given him the power to choose but within the colours you want. Diet ka diet and colour ka colour!
Children are picky in all hygiene habits be it brushing teeth or having a bath. Bring the colour genie to help you! Buy soap and toothbrush of his favourite colour, stick colour full stickers on the handle of the toothbrush and see how your child is attracted to the toothbrush. For very picky kids, change toothbrush colour every two days and let your child guess which colour toothbrush has mummy kept for you today. (buy 4 toothbrushes and exchange them every two days) white soaps are boring, where soaps are concerned kids are attracted to translucent colours, colours that make them feel as if they can see through the soap.
For those of you who are ‘guilty parents’ (those who feel that they are not giving enough time or attention to their kids) instead of justifying your time with bribes of sweets and gifts why not try to spend some colourful time with your kids? So if you have just 20 minutes everyday, spend them doing some colourful activity so that you are gifting your child some essential colours in their life. Some ideas for colourful activities with kids-
- Go for a short 10 minute walk with your child and look out for shapes in the white clouds. The blue and white of the sky will be soothing and relaxing.
- Can’t see a sun rise with your child (too early for you?) Then enjoy the vibrant colours of the red, yellow, orange and blue of a sky with the setting sun, so many colours to find and enjoy. No time to take them anywhere; see it from your building terrace!
- Freshly watered grass and leaves, take your child to a garden and then bring the pink blush of happy activity on his cheeks with this innovative activity that keeps your child active and helps you sit and relax- take a set of crayons (the one that has 200 and more shades) and then pick out each crayon and ask your child to match each shade to things in the garden.
- Go with your child to a florist shop, and let your child count as many colours as he can name- the purples, the magenta, the whites and reds.
- Spend time with your child in the kitchen and have a ball with ‘orange and green’ by preparing refreshing orange juice and healthy palak or peas soup.
Some colours to consciously avoid in a child’s life-
- ‘Colourful’ words!
- The red on a child’s cheeks after he has been scolded or slapped, never. Ever, have this colour on a child’s body.
- The brown frown on a child’s face when you ignore him/her.
- The grey of boredom when doing boring drill work.
- The black mood that stems from jealousy, sibling rivalry, unfulfilled expectations and being rejected and ridiculed by adults.
- The white lack luster mood of a child addicted to video games and television.
Colours are not only in clothes and furniture, they are in our lives in every aspect of it and the more natural colours that we will bring in our child’s life the more vibrant and colourful will we make his/her future. So begin colouring your child’s life today.