When children first learn colors, the hues are usually very strong so the dominant color is easy for young children to identify. But colors come in a very wide variety of shades - just peek into a large box of crayons! While it is not necessary for a child to be able to differentiate the scarlet crayon from the red crayon, it is important for children to understand that colors come in a range of hues and saturation. (Hues are the actual color, such as olive green or forest green, while saturation refers to how deep or pale a color is.)

These identifying varying shades of color worksheets will give children the opportunity to explore a wider range of colors within the same color family. On these worksheets, children will compare three different colors within the same color family and observe how the colors change from pale to deeper shades.

To begin, cut out all of the color squares at the bottom of the worksheet and arrange them face up on the table so you child can see each color. Ask your child to separate the squares into four groups according to their color family. Direct him to work with one color family at a time by selecting the three red squares from the large group of color squares before beginning to select the three green squares, for example.

While it may make sense to adults to have children begin with the color written at the top of the page, it is not necessary to proceed in the order seen on the worksheet. Instead, ask your child if he can read one of the color words on the page and then find all of the squares that belong in that color family. Next, ask him to notice which color is the most pale and place that square in the first empty box next to the corresponding color word. After your child selects the first, most pale color, tell your child to continue to find the next darker shade of the color and then the next darker shade, placing each in the correct box next to the color word. If he makes a mistake, he may notice it and correct it himself once the three squares are side-by-side on the worksheet. Once he has correctly placed the three color squares in order on the worksheet, he can paste them down so they do not move around as he begins working on the next color.

After your child completes the identifying varying shades of color worksheets, the two matching colors memory games will give him an opportunity to put his new color matching skills to the test by matching two pictures that contain the same dominant color.

Before cutting apart the worksheet into the 16 playing cards, look at the worksheet with your child and ask him to name the dominant color in each picture. Once your child has reviewed each picture, place the cut squares face down on a table and take turns with your child picking two cards at a time searching for a pair of cards with the same predominant color. If your child is new at playing the memory game or still working to correctly identify each color, you can begin by using only four pairs of cards and then add more pairs as his skill with this game increases. You may wish to copy the memory game worksheets onto heavy paper stock to make the cards more durable and easier to handle.