There has been debate on why young children, disoriented in small enclosures, use enclosure shape but not wall colours to locate hidden toys (Hermer & Spelke, Cognition, 61: 195, 1996; Nardini, UCL PhD thesis, 2006). We ask whether this disregard of colour might not be specific to disorientation but exemplifies a more pervasive limitation on the interaction of dorsal- and ventral-stream information in early visual cognition. 18-24 month olds saw toys hidden in boxes distinguished by different colours (red, blue) and retrieval actions (pull, push). Children had to discriminate between boxes to find the toy, based either on action alone, colour alone, or on the conjunction of the two. If action and colour information were combined independently, the rates of different kinds of conjunction errors would be predictable from the baseline rates of action and colour errors. However our results showed that when action and colour had to be combined, colour information was lost significantly more often than predicted by these individual rates. Thus children’s disregard of colour is not limited to tasks involving disorientation. We argue that it may reflect failures in early development to combine ventral-stream information for recognition with dorsal-stream information used in action planning.