At what age did your child recognize colors, numbers and letters? — The Bump

At what age did your child recognize colors, numbers and letters?

I have been really trying to work on colors with DS but he is not seeming to grasp it AT ALL.  (He is 26 months...maybe this is young?)  I will ask him what color something is and he will name every color BUT what the color is.  As far as numbers, he will count occasionally (to 4 or 5) but I have not tried to write numbers or letters to have him recognize them..when do you do this?  TIA!  Sorry for being so clueless!!


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Re: At what age did your child recognize colors, numbers and letters?

  • I think it varies WILDLY, so there is no set age that you should expect it to happen. Also, I think a lot depends on when a kid becomes interested in something.

    That said, DS learned his colors pretty early - maybe 20 months? He just got really interested in them at some point and made me name every color of every.single.thing. we saw for a while and started being abl to identify/say them after a few weeks of that.

    He recogizes the letters in his name and can "spell" his name (I am sure this is just rote memorization, though - I highly doubt he understands the concept of letters making up sounds used in words). He recognizes maybe 18 letters in total, most of the time, all uppercase.

    He can count to 15, but only understands the concept of numbers up to 2 (so, he knows when he has 1 or 2 things, but if he has 3 he doesn't get it yet)

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  • Identifying colors is a three-year-old skill, so I wouldn't worry too much. DS has known his colors for awhile now, but, as the PP said, it varies a lot.

    As far as numbers and letters, DS is now 2.5 and can identify quite a few, but will still get confused. I don't push it on him.

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  • I'd say around 32 months. He's behind in speech though, so it's not like he's excelling at everything. He really likes to learn, and he loves watching the learning shows (On Demand). They have some shows that specifically go over colors, letters, numbers. He'd watch them all day if I let him.

    If I show him a number or letter, he will know what it is (up to 10). Today I held up one finger and he said "one", two fingers "two," but when I held up 5 fingers and said, "How many is this?" he repeated "How many is this?" He didn't know.

  • cmw&tdmcmw&tdm member
    Long-Lasting Membership 2500 Comments 25 Love Its Photogenic

    DS became obsessed with letters and learned them all (both upper and lower case) a few months ago (when he was maybe 26-27 months) ... he became interested in them and started learning them maybe a month or two before that. 

    He was later on his colors than some ... he learned them at about 2.

    He can recognize numbers 0-10 and learned them very well maybe a month before his letters.

     Like the others said, this can vary a lot.  DS was not really interested in colors like he was about letters and numbers, so he learned those a little later than some. 

    My friend's son is three months older than DS and he still only knows letter X she says.

  • I edited my reply above. I meant 32 months old!!!!!!!!!! I was subtracting months from 2 years instead of 3.
  • Well I can tell you where we are- DD will be 2 in 2 weeks.  In regards to colors, nearly everything is "blue".  She may occasionally say "orange" or "green", but it's generally just a guess.  She knows numbers up to 10, but usually only counts to 3.  She will sometimes fill in the blanks if we're counting up to 10 and pause somewhere in between.  She doesn't recognize specific numbers or letters yet but she tries- usually guesses that everything is "C" or "double" (thats "W").  I have no idea if she's ahead, behind, or average, but I'm having a blast watching her learn each day.
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  • DD will say 8-9-10 occasionally.  I think she recognizes E and the color pink. 

    I always tell the color of things, and I count stuff alot.  I figure she'll pick it up eventually.

  • Colors...not yet.

    Letters....she can recognize letters.  But, she loves to go through books, so I use that opportunity to point out letters.  She's able to point out O and A and R and F and a few others.  She can't SPELL, but she can point to an A and know it's an A.

    Numbers....same thing.  She tries to count...."5, 8, 10!"  Not bad for almost 2, I guess.  

    Her big thing is shapes.  That's what she gets the most.  Again, it's because we have a shape book and she liked to flip through it and we'd just point and say, "Circle".  Pretty soon, she was able to recognize the shapes everywhere.  

    She got the shapes earlier than anything else, so maybe that's the easiest??  I don't know, but she seemed to take to that easier and earlier than the other things.

    We have yet to work on colors.  Guess I need a book for that!

  • Developmentally kids should know their primary colors by 28 months, should know the quantity concept of one, two and all by 28 months also. To identify letters is not until after age 3 but many kids will sing the alphabet before 3 but not recognize all the letters by then.

    DD knew all her colors by 2 and counts to 20 but only recognizes 1-9. She can only identify a handful of letters a, b, o, g and s. We are working on letters now but she is not interested at all!

  • don't "work" on it with him- just talk about colors/numbers as you see them.

    when you are pointing out things... say the color, too - ie) I'm putting on your blue shirt.... do you want a red cup or a yellow cup? etc

    DS is 25mos and knows a hand full of letters and colors.  I don't "teach" them to him- but talk about them in conversation and let him pick up what he's interested in when he's ready.  I'm a former early childhood educator and don't believe in "teaching" kids this young.  I taught kindergarten for 5 years and had many kids come to K not knowing letters/colors.... so at 2 y/o it's VERY early to worry about it at all.

    Just read lots of books- talk about everything in the pictures, things you see when you go on walks, etc.... the more you read to him and talk to him- the more he will pick up naturally and not need to be "taught".

  • AlilivAliliv member

    I've had many kindergarten aged students who did not recognize all of their colours, shapes, numbers, and letters and some who have.   It varies a ton.  I think it's almost more about the concepts than the actual recognition.  For instance, DD knows that things are colours, but doesn't always get it right - she groups the colours words into the colour categary so to speak.   She recognizes all her numbers to 10 and is starting to group objects further than 2 - eg. she has 3 apples or 4 cookies or 3 crayons etc.   As for letters, she is just started to recognize letters and is figuring the alphabet out.   She recognizes most shapes.  It's just one of those things that it is good to encourage but at aged 2 or 3ish, it's more about when they are "ready" to learn it - just keep watching for any sort of progress as you are working with him......

  • image DevonPow:

    I think it varies WILDLY, so there is no set age that you should expect it to happen. Also, I think a lot depends on when a kid becomes interested in something.

    This is SOOOo true!

    DD knew a few colors and shapes at 26mo(everything was brown for a while)...most of them by 30mo...all by 36mo...but still at 4yo doesn't recognize more than a few letters and numbers(she can recite her abcs and count to almost 20). she can identify her name among other names (they practice this at school and we do it at home too)

    DS doesn't know any of his colors at 27mo...but can identify most shapes and all of his letters (upper and lower case) and numbers up to 10...he recites his alphabet and can count to 14...

    it's an amazing difference and hard to get used to! I would keep working with him, but try not to lose your patience it may take a while!!!

  • Colors she knew around 22 months or so.  It was shortly before she turned 2 years.  She started counting and singing the alphabet around 26 months.  She will be 3 years in a few weeks, and she knows some but not all of her letters and numbers.  She's learned some in daycare, and we talk about them occasionally.  I haven't pushed it because I'm not too worried.  She'll learn them all eventually.
    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
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  • I think my DD was early.  I think the number thing was my "fault."  To calm her down from 18-19 month old tantrums I'd have her "help" me count things.  She could count to 20 by the time she was 22 months (and recognize the numbers).

    The only thing she didn't do before she was 2 was the alphabet song (though she recognized all the letters out of order).  She was about 26 months when she started singing the ABC song.

    I think it varies a lot.

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  • DD has been able to recognize 6 colors (pink, orange, purple, green, yellow and blue) since she was about 13/14 months old. She can recognize 7 letters (a, b, c, e, h, o, m). She has image recognition of between 50-75 images.

    However, the only words she actually says so far when we work with her on colors and number is "yellow, a, and o". 

    With the image recognition, she can correctly select and say around 2 dozen words.

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