Teaching colours: Ideas for special needs classrooms

Teaching Colours: Ideas for Special Needs Classrooms - thehandyhedgehog.wordpress.com

Need some ideas to help teach colours to students with special needs? Here are a few I use in my ASD classroom:

Plan and Focus

Month by month themes for a special needs classroom - thehandyhedgehog.wordpress.comFirstly, I plan out what colours I am planning to teach and when I am going to teach them. I planned for a colour a month (sometimes two). You may want to focus on a colour a week or fortnight. I liked to co-ordinate my colour focus with events (red and green – Christmas, orange and black – halloween) or with themes (blue – oceans, brown – teddy bears). Check out my post here for my yearly plans examples.

Colour exploration box

Ideas for teaching colour: Colour collections -thehandyhedgehog.wordpress.com Start collecting a range of items in block colours for the students to explore. Make sure you have items that engage the senses:

  • sight
  • sound
  • touch
  • smell
  • taste

Ideas for teaching colour: White Colour collections -thehandyhedgehog.wordpress.com They can be everyday items, that you will find around your home or classroom – toys, clothes, books, materials, even food. Group the items by colour, and only allow the student to explore one colour at a time (I would suggest a colour a week, fortnight, or month). If you have enough items, change the items to keep the students interested, but keep the colour focus the same.

Colour songs

My students loved watching music videos on the whiteboard, so I compiled a colours playlist on YouTube. Check it out here.

There are so many videos and songs available, find which ones work for your students.

Wear it!

I loved seeing my student’s reactions when I would wear a bright coloured t-shirt to school. Some of my students noticed more than others, but, it was still great to bring their attention to the colour. Try collecting t-shirt, socks, hats, and scarves in a range of colours. Your students may even want to dress up in colours.

Work Tasks

Include colour sorting and matching as work tasks during independent work or 1-1 work.


Don’t forget books focussing on colours and shapes for our visual learners. You may want to create your own colour books using photos of items the students are familiar with (their toys, clothes, household / school items).

Follow The Handy’s board school theme: colours on Pinterest.



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