‘Sheep color, iron color, my room's color..’ How do 48-84 months-old children name and derivative colors?


  • Aysel Ferah Özcan
  • Hilal İlknur Tunçeli SAKARYA UNIVERSİTY
  • Eslem Gözde Şenöz




early childhood, color, color perception, color naming, derivation


This study aims to investigate children's color naming levels and color name derivation tendencies. Also, this study investigated whether the color naming levels of the children differed according to gender and age. The study group consists of 431 preschool and first-grade children (48–84-month-old). This research was carried out as a descriptive survey study. The data were collected through a questionnaire form prepared by the researchers. The Chi-Square test technique and document analyses were used to analyze the data. The results show that the most recognized colors by children are red, yellow, and blue, the primary colors, respectively. On the other hand, children have difficulty naming colors: lilac, brown, navy blue, and gray. According to the results, primary and warm colors were named more accurately than the other hues. Moreover, children had difficulties naming the lightness and darkness levels of the colors. Name derivations for colors by 48-84-month-old children were collected under ten different themes. According to the results, the prominent themes in children's derivation of color names are light (e.g. light yellow), dark (e.g., dark green), closed (e.g., closed blue), reinforcers and quantifiers (e.g., very closed green), analogy to object and being, made-up color names, vibrant color names uncertain color names and color names in the literature. Document analyses indicates that children's main difficulty with colors is nomenclature.