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 zaffre.
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.
Zaffre Pronunciation Video
4 Fun Facts About Zaffre
1. According to Wikipedia, the first recorded use of the name zaffre for this brilliant blue was in the 1550s and referred to the color that resulted from roasting cobalt ore.
2. Zaffre is developed from cobalt oxide or cobalt arseniate.
3. Zaffre is a synthetic mixture that is similar to smalt and used to create the deep blue color in ceramics and blue enamels.
4. Zaffre is also considered a pre-scientific substance that was used in the Victorian era to stain glass blue. That means it got this status before the time of modern science.
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!
Zaffre Haiku Poetry Prompt
Try your hand at a zaffre 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
Featured zaffre image by Donna Z. Falcone. Used with permission.