Use picture books to teach your toddlers or preschoolers about colors in a fun and engaging way.
Do your little ones love when you read them books?
Why not choose books that will also teach them? Toddlers and preschoolers love colors. When you read to them, pick books that will teach your toddlers or preschoolers about colors as well.
I love sharing literature with my children. I also love teaching my children. So I figure, why not combine the two and choose great literature that also teaches? When I was ready to teach my preschoolers about colors, I chose fun and engaging books as part of their learning.
Books are just one aspect that can teach your toddlers or preschoolers about colors. You can read about many other fun learning activities in my post about teaching your child colors.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
Picture Books that Teach Your Toddlers and Preschoolers About Colors
1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr & Eric Carle teaches colors in a fun way. All of my kids have enjoyed this book through the years, as they read about what the red bird or black sheep see. This book is a classic must own that teaches about colors and animals. Kids love the repetitive wording and the amazing illustrations that come with every Eric Carle book.
2. Sky Color
Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds is a book that doesn’t teach the colors themselves so much as showing that many different colors can be used to depict the same objects. In this book, Marisol’s class is going to paint a mural on the library’s wall. She wants to paint the sky, but she can’t find blue paint. Throughout the book she realizes that the sky can be many different colors.
3. A Color of His Own
A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni is a wonderful classic that teaches about colors. In the book, each animal has its own color; that is, except for the chameleon who is sad that he doesn’t have his own color. By the end of the book, though, he realizes that he’s happy not having his own color when he can be with a friend.
4. The Crayon Box That Talked
The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf is a fun book about a crayon box. A girl overhears the colors in the box saying they don’t like each other. So she buys the box and uses all of the colors to create a picture. The colors realize that each of them is important.
After reading this story to my little one, we used a box of crayons to create pictures ourselves. We talked about each color that we used in the picture after we were done. It’s a great book to use to have your child point out the different colors.
Rain by Robert Kalan is a very simple book that is short enough to hold a toddler’s attention, and is easy enough for an emerging reader as well. The book shows the different colors that end up making a rainbow at the end. The colors gray, black and brown are also mentioned.
6. Mouse Paint
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a favorite of my little one. It’s a cute story of three white mice who get into red, yellow and blue paint. Each mouse plays in the puddles dripped from the other two mice, which ends up creating orange, green and purple. This book is so good for showing color mixing of the primary colors.
I had such fun creating an activity to supplement this book. I made playdough in red, yellow and blue for my little guy. Before reading the story, I showed him how to mix red and yellow together to create orange. Then I had him do the same with red and blue to make purple and then blue and yellow to create green. He just loved seeing new colors form. Then we read the book together, which amazed him again to see that the mice created the same colors he did. Paint can also be used for that activity, which little ones really enjoy!
Watch My Video Describing the Mouse Paint Activity
7. White Rabbit’s Colors
White Rabbit’s Colors, or White Rabbit’s Color Book if you have an older version, by Alan Baker is very similar to Mouse Paint. This time it’s three white rabbits that get into the red, yellow and blue paints. They also create orange, purple and green. At the end, though, they mix all three colors of red, yellow and blue together to create brown. The same activity I mentioned for Mouse Paint can be used with this book as well. It could be fun to use playdough for one book and paint for the other.
8. Blue Hat, Green Hat
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton is one of my little guy’s favorite books. He calls it the Oops book. In this book, four animals, an elephant, a moose, a bear and a turkey each put on items of clothing on each page. The items of clothing are blue, green, red and yellow. However, the turkey never seems to put the clothing on correctly, so he says Oops.
Since my little one loves this book so much, I decided to create an activity for him based on this book. I made circles that contain each of the clothing items in the colors that the book mentions, as well as blank pictures for my son to color himself. Pieces of colored felt or construction paper could also be used for the activity. As we read through the story, he’ll put his circles of clothing items in the same order as the book. We have also played a memory game with the circles he colored along with the ones already colored. These are part of an activity guide that I offer as a bonus to my email subscribers.
9. Cat’s Colors
Cat’s Colors by Jane Cabrera is another book your little one will enjoy reading. In this book, the cat is trying to decide what its favorite color is. The cat realizes at the end that orange is its favorite color because that is the color of its mother.
10. Planting a Rainbow
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert is a book that is good for the topics of colors and gardening. The book shares how the narrator and mother plant a rainbow of different colored flowers each year. The book also talks about waiting through the seasons to be able to plant and enjoy the flowers.
11. Freight Train
Freight Train by Donald Crews has been such a favorite of all three of my boys that it’s been taped back together multiple times. I really like that the colors of the train’s cars are in the order found in the rainbow, starting with the red caboose. Black is also shown as the car holding the coal. A simple, but easily loved book.
12. Little Green Peas
Little Green Peas by Keith Baker is a fun book with lots to look at on each page. Each color name is printed across the pages for that color, with simple rhyme underneath. Your child will really enjoy the bright illustrations and seeing what the little green peas are up to on each page.
13. The Mixed-Up Chameleon
The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle is another book about a chameleon changing colors. However, in this book, the chameleon changes size as well! By the end, it realizes that it likes just being itself. Eric Carle books are among my personal favorites, mostly for the beautiful illustrations.
Bonus Book: My Book of Colors
Another wonderful book to help teach your children colors is one they make themselves! Your child will love coloring the objects on each page in the correct color. Then let them “read” the book to you! You will receive the My Book of Colors booklet free when joining my email community.
Teaching your toddlers or preschoolers about colors is so much fun when you add engaging books to their learning. The books I mentioned above are just some of the many wonderful books out there about colors. Leave a few of them out for your little ones to peruse, and they’ll know their colors in no time!
Be sure to save this post in Pinterest so you can stock up on the books when you’re ready to teach your little one colors, and share it to Facebook so your friends can as well!