Although babies can distinguish between color categories before they develop language, it’s actually vocabulary that opens their eyes to the nuances of hues and shades.
The word to describe blue and green is the same in Mandarin, whereas in Russian there are different words for light and dark blue. Interestingly, studies show that Russian speakers can distinguish between shades of blue much more easily than non-Russian speakers. This suggests that as children grow and learn more descriptive color words - like straw, lemon, sunflower, gold, or mustard, instead of just the one word ‘yellow’ - they might actually be able develop a more vibrant view of the world around them.
After reading this article about using "big words" with kids, it reminded me that kids really are incredible sponges. So why hold back exposing kids to the full spectrum of color and language? In fact, research into neuroplasticity show that two kids with the "same capacity for visual perception can have drastically different vision later in life just based on what they were exposed to early on". Fascinating!