Do Colors in Classrooms Matter?
I returned to the public school classroom 2 1/2 years ago and I am loving teaching first grade. Our primary classrooms have floor rugs for rug time. These rugs are a brilliant mixture of the primary colors and some secondary colors. My room looked very cheerful, colorful and inviting for early childhood children.
Last summer I did a little research on how environmental colors affect the behavior of children. I started to analyze my classroom. I had a very active group last year. Many had not been in school because of COVID or they had registered for distance learning and really didn't do much. I had a group of first graders who didn't have any knowledge of the alphabet or numbers. Without the skills of sitting in a group of children it was very difficult for me to get some of the children to settle down, especially after recess when we retreated to the rug. The research that I had uncovered indicated that bright red, yellow and orange can excite and even aggravate a child's behavior. I wondered if the colors of my rug were making it difficult for my students to settle down.
This year, I applied for a Donor's Choose project to purchase a new rug. I wasn't able to get the one I wanted (the early childhood company didn't participate in DonorsChoose), but I was able to get one that was mostly green and blue, which the research indicated would create a more calming environment. Although I wish the colors were a little more muted, the difference has been remarkable. Since I wasn't able to place to new rug until October, my group this year has experiences both rug colors. The calmness of the group is noticeable. I'm very happy I made the change and it drives home the issue again about sticking to credible early childhood research and not use what I call "heart attack research" (I know in my heart this is the right thing to do...).