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How Color Psychology Can Influence Learning in Daycare Settings

The world of colors is fascinating, and no one is more intrigued by color than children. For instance, when you place something brightly colored next to a child, they will pay much attention to it. With that logic in mind, color can be crucial in supporting early childhood learning. Are you curious to know how color can impact learning? Well, colors can evoke emotions. For example, warm hues like red and orange stimulate and excite young learners. Additionally, color affects brain function by enhancing visual memory and arousal levels. Introducing colors into classrooms allows young learners to identify patterns and stay organized. Continue reading better to understand color psychology and its influence in daycare settings.

Color and Early Childhood Education

A study report by the National Library says color is an essential visual experience for humans. If this is not interesting enough, color provides information to the cognitive system, thus enhancing memory performance. What does this mean? Harnessing the power of color to teach young children can help improve their mental performance. 

Since children are visual learners, using a mix of colors in their learning space can aid in capturing their attention and encouraging them to take part in class activities. You can also use color to bring calm, foster creativity, and support collaboration. With this in mind, color should be among the critical considerations in choosing childcare centers to encourage learning in the early years. However, to make the most of color in learning environments, teachers and parents must use them wisely. 

How Colors Affect Learning

What colors are perfect fits for daycares? No exact color combination is designed for childcare centers because each child has a unique color preference. Also, colors in daycare settings should change as the kids grow. For instance, blue is perfect for improving your toddler’s development. Toddlers naturally desire safety and protection. As a calm color, blue helps create safe spaces for curious toddlers. For preschoolers, stick to orange as it enhances mood and allows young ones to form genuine friendships. Here is a list of colors daycares should opt for kids’ development and learning. 

1. Red

Being the color associated with fire and love, red evokes powerful emotions like: 

  • Danger
  • Energy
  • Power
  • Strength
  • Desire
  • Determination
  • Passion

When you expose children to red surroundings, they become active because it encourages energy and excitement. However, too much red can distract or overwhelm learners. Daycare centers should pair red with cool hues to create energized spaces that promote creativity, enhance performance, boost attention, spark conversation, and inspire movement. Red is perfect for common areas, such as learning spaces, outdoor spaces, and cafeterias, where conversation, collaboration, and creativity are encouraged. 

2. Blue

Blue is synonymous with peace, tranquility, trust, loyalty, and relaxation. The cool effect of blue regulates heartbeat and breathing, making it a perfect stimulant for creating order, increasing productivity, and promoting cognitive performance. When added to learning environments, blue evokes calm emotions and promotes a high level of thought among learners. Based on a study by the University of British Columbia, blue environments influence productivity and creative outputs. Daycares can harness blue colors to encourage young learners to participate in brainstorming activities. Decorating seating or reading areas with different shades of blue can help calm and balance the racing minds of children. 

3. Orange

Have you seen children staring at the color orange and wondered why? Orange is a vibrant color that grabs the attention of kids. It also sparks feelings of happiness and enthusiasm. In learning spaces, orange boosts confidence, rejuvenates, uplifts, and promotes alertness. Daycare centers should incorporate orange in lounge areas or reading spaces to encourage collaboration and studying, foster friendship, and boost motivation. When paired with bright yellows, orange provokes happiness, creating a cheerful space for learning. 

4. Green

Green is a must-have color in learning environments directly linked to nature and peace. A series of study findings published in the Washington Post reveal that children exposed to greenery in school had improved attention spans and working memory. When exposed to live plants or green hues, learners experience a positive effect on their verbal and creative thinking. Their efficiency and concentration levels increase drastically. That is because green is a low-wavelength color that promotes relaxation and calmness. It reduces stress and fatigue, inspires creativity, and motivates learners, thus maintaining long-term concentration and clarity. 

5. Yellow

Like orange, yellow grabs attention and can exude optimism, happiness, and energy. Another exciting aspect of yellow is that it can give the nervous system a wake-up call, leading to higher concentration levels. Children exposed to yellow feel optimistic because this cheerful color helps the brain to release serotonin. Balancing yellow with a relaxing green hue can help boost memory, promote interaction, and encourage young learners to communicate effectively. 

6. Purple

A mix of blue and red: purple is eye-catching and a favorite color among children. Why is purple ideal for childcare settings? With the tranquility of blue and the energy of red, purple boosts creativity and relaxation at the same time. This aspect makes it perfect for enhancing kids’ imagination and development in school.


Colors have a significant impact on a child’s learning and development. After all, they can alter mood, behavior, and cognitive function. For this reason, daycares should prioritize different colors from red to purple, blue, orange, green, and yellow in their environment to enhance early childhood learning. Given that each color affects mood and behavior differently, it is essential to thoughtfully incorporate colors in learning centers to evoke positivity, encourage motivation, foster creativity, and support friendship and collaboration. 

Sandra Chiu works as Director at LadyBug & Friends Daycare and Preschool.

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