I've been Grilled

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Looking for the PERFECT BLANKET

Scattered throughout this article are some blanket fabrics available from The Bib Shoppe. Have some fun, and see if you can fit these into categories for infants, preschoolers, elementary age children, middle school students, or high school age children.

Yikes, choosing a blanket is difficult. NOT! Read on.

If you have ever walked down the toy section of a store, you will be overwhelmed with the bright colors of all the toys and books. That is because manufacturers have discovered the psychology of colors. Colors are used as marketing tools, but they can also be used as educational tools. If you take a look at preschool and grade school workbooks, you will notice many bright colors in the pages to attract young children. Colors help them learn.

But, what about choosing a blanket color for your loved ones? The tip of the day is: Consider age! Colors are universal and everywhere. But, they do mean different things in different settings and at different ages of life.

According to a 2005 research article published by the BBC, “children can see and even appreciate colors as early as four months old. At that age, however, their eyes may not yet be sufficiently developed to recognize various shades of color or differentiate dull colors like grey and brown. According to the article, researchers showed babies various shades of blue in sequence on a computer screen, and the babies' attention began to drift. When the color changed to green, the babies were once again attracted to the screen. The researchers concluded that babies are unable to distinguish variations in color, which reinforces the notion that babies can only see bright, fully saturated colors.”

Parents and/or grandparents usually like the soft pastels for newborn gifts. However, studies have shown that Infants and preschoolers usually prefer warm, bright colors, while elementary school aged children are attracted to pastels and tinted colors. Middle school students usually prefer the greens and blues, while high school students are attracted to darker colors, such as, dark green, gray, navy, burgundy, etc. Of course, most high school students enjoy receiving a blanket in their school colors whether they particularly like the colors or not.

In an informal survey on colors by The Bib Shoppe, I discovered that most people think preschoolers are attracted to bright colors because they associate bright colors with happiness. However, some feel that we bombard kids with bright colors so much and it is the object that is more important than its color. Purple was the overwhelming color of choice in the survey for what color participants believed most children from birth to 18 like the best. But, when those surveyed asked what their favorite color growing up was, they said blue, and still say that blue is their favorite color today.

Along with color though, consider the child’s likes and dislikes. If your child is afraid of dogs, you might want to avoid a dog printed blanket. But, if your child likes strawberries, you might want to consider a strawberry print. If you are trying to teach colors through your blanket, choose a blanket design with multiple colors. If you are trying to teach counting through your blanket, choose a blanket with objects to count.

Recently, my 2 year old grandson wanted a new blanket. He chose the blue owl print that we carry at The Bib Shoppe. He knows his colors, and he was adamant that he did not want the green print. Once, the blanket was made, I observed him interacting with his blanket. He was not only involved with the color, but the print. The blue owl print contains multiple different designed owls. He had already decided that his loved ones represented particular owls. I asked him, “Where is Mimi?” and he would point to a particular owl. I would say, “Show me Grandpa,” and he would point to a different owl. It was amazing to see learning going on within a blanket choice.

So, when choosing fabric colors for a blanket gift, you may also want to consider any learning that you might want to take place with your choice of blanket.

The Bib Shoppe sells custom handmade blankets for all ages and "ready to buy" blankets. Visit The Bib Shoppe!

Patti Greene, Author and Co-owner of The Bib Shoppe

To read more on colors and children, read the articles below. To access the articles, just go to Google, type the title in quotes, and click!

How Do Bright Colors Appeal to Kids?
Colour and children
Homeschool View - What Colors Help Children Learn?