There are over ten million colors in the world, and that’s just the ones we can see. We tend to learn about the basics, but why limit ourselves? Colors have cool histories, intriguing origins, cultural meanings, wonderful names. Plus, they are often quite beautiful. And beauty is showing promise as a way to help kids (and us!) learn.
With all this rich possibility swirling in the world, we invite you to take a journey into colors—whether you are 5 or 50 or even 85. Use them to teach yourself fascinating things about history, science, language, and culture (maybe even math!). Go on color treasure hunts, taste them or tinker with them. We’re here to send you on your colorful way, continuing our color journey with heliotrope.
Of course, in our very own alphabet book, we also include old favorites like red, orange, yellow, green, blue (as part of the denim page) and purple. But with 26 letters to illustrate, we also saw a beautiful opportunity: to paint the world from an azure sky to a zaffre goodbye.
How to Pronounce heliotrope
5 Fun Facts About Heliotrope
2. During the Victorian Era, stages of mourning, which for a widow extended over two and a half years, were marked by certain colors. The last six months were known as “half mourning,” when the widow could wear ordinary clothes but in shades of purple, like violet and heliotrope.
3. The color heliotrope has frequently made its way into books and film, from a dress color in Tolstoy’s War and Peace to Mafalda Hopkirk’s polyjuice potion in the Harry Potter novels.
4. If you think it’s interesting that a color would be named after a flower with a name like heliotrope, you might find it even more interesting to know that the flower was named (by the ancient Greeks) for the phenomenon called heliotropism, or “sun turn,” for the way that some plants would move in the direction of the sun throughout the day.
5. Heliotrope is seen as a romantic flower, nicknamed (when not being called “cherry pie,”) The Flower of Love.
Take a Color Walk
One great way to become more attuned to the colors around you is to take a color walk. It’s easy to do: simply decide on your color-of-the-day, and look for it wherever you roam. Take pictures, jot notes, or just keep your findings in mind. If you feel so inspired write a color vignette when you get home.
Count Your Colors
For younger color walk participants, we’ve created a special My Color Counting Book that reinforces color names, days of the week, sorting, counting, and adding. Just print and enjoy, at home or for a math or literacy center in the classroom!
Heliotrope Haiku Poetry Prompt
Try your hand at a heliotrope haiku. Use the “fun facts” or findings from your color walk as inspiration if you like. Need more inspiration? Check out our haiku infographic.
Brilliant ink-on-tile illustrations created with a secret process bring the alphabet to colorful life. Children will delight in the rich, poetic language of colors like emerald, jasmine, and quartz—while also meeting old favorites like yellow, orange and purple.
Related Article at Huffington Post: 5 Great Reasons to Color the Core of Kids’ Learning