Baking Soda and Vinegar Color Mixing Activity

baking soda and vinegar color mixing My kids love making baking soda and vinegar science experiments. We’ve made many versions over the years but this one was probably my favorite. My four year old has been a little obsessed with color mixing and my son loves a good mystery, I decided to put these lessons together in a fun mystery for them to solve.  They had a blast doing it and playing with left over materials after too. For younger kids who aren’t up for solving mysteries don’t use colored vinegar just hide the colors in the baking soda and left them erupt. Just as much fun but simpler for little ones.

Gather your materials. You will need a container for each color, a small measuring cup for the vinegar, baking soda, a measuring spoon, red, blue, and yellow food coloring. color mixing with baking soda and vinegar science

Start by putting some baking soda into your containers. Add the yellow food color in one and red in the other. Cover with s little more baking soda so your child can see what color might be hiding under the baking soda.color mixing mystery for kids

Pop a few drops of blue food color in the vinegar. color mixing baking soda volcano

Invite your detective to come and help you figure out which jar has yellow food color and which has red. Explain that all you need is the blue to figure it out. My 7 year old got the concept right away and whispered the answers in my ear ( if it turns purple it’s red, green it’s yellow) he agreed to play along and was glad he did. color mixing mystery baking soda and vinegar volcano

My daughter poured the first one and at first it didn’t turn purple, I had too much baking soda on top of the red food coloring. color mixing volcano

We mixed it up and voila purple!  Then I prompted ” What makes purple? Your vinegar was blue…” color mixing mystery purple

“I know red was hiding!!”

The next jar was for my son. color mixing science experimentHe was playing it cool and could guess what would happen but he still loved it. My daughter was super excited to declare that it HAD to be yellow in the jar because the bubbles turned green!color mixing science mystery

After the mystery was solved I handed them the extra baking soda and vinegar and let them go hog wild. I was already going inside to let them play when I heard him say ” This is going to be epic!” so I clicked this shot.  A few seconds later the measuring cup was spewing and giggles were plentiful. hog wild

Books About Color Mixing

All book lists include affiliate links.

white-rabbits-color-book-alan-baker

White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker is a classic in my mind and if you have never read it you must. It’s not a complicated story, instead it’s a brilliant book and lesson about color mixing . The cover illustration of the bunny in the paint always makes me think of dyeing Easter eggs which is another great opportunity to teach about color mixing. Kids love this book and adults reading it will enjoy the fun and dynamic language used to describe the vibrant colors that the bunny plunges into.

little-blue-and-little-yellow

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni is a profound book with underlying commentary about race relations while the surface story is about little blobs of color who when squished together turn into one green blob! You’ll be surprised by how easily your preschooler will pick up on the connection between the two. In my PreK class I had more than a few kids make the connection all on their own.

mouse paint

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a cute little story about mice that get into paint and not only make a mess but discover what happens when you mix colors. Great for every day but even better when you are learning about colors specifically mixing colors.

 

 

Color Lab Science For Kids

color science for kids What would happen if we put watercolors in shaving cream? What about vinegar ? Or oil? Great hands on science always begins with ” I wonder…” and this color lab science activity was no exception. We wondered what would happen if we mixed water colors and different household liquids. After we explored our set questions it was time for completely kid directed play. We used liquid watercolors made with plain old paint instead of food color to avoid staining. Food color will make much more vivid colors.

Gather your materials. We used water, vinegar, shaving cream and oil for our liquids, liquid watercolors, some jars, an eye dropper, a cookie sheet, and goggles! color lab for preschool

Start by making liquid watercolors. Pop the disks out of the watercolor tray and add a little water. Sit for a few minutes and stir. liquid water color lab

Now you are ready to set up your color lab! Pour the liquids in ( I did the shaving cream) . color lab science for preschoolers

Time make a few predictions.

Grab your eye dropper and start adding colors. The eye dropper is important because it gives this activity an element of fine motor development as well, it takes a lot of coordination to make eye droppers work and works out the pincer grasp too. color lab water

She noted how slowly the colors floated down through the water.

The colors seems the same in the vinegar. I asked her if anything was different and she said the smell! Observing is a huge part of science!

The shaving cream was interesting because the color spread over it but didn’t mix much. She also discovered that if she pinched the eye dropper really hard the watercolor made a hole in the shaving cream. color lab shaving cream

The oil was rad. She had no previous experience with water in oil.  color lab oil wowShe was amazed when they turned into little dots of color and slowly sank down to the bottom. I loved seeing her experience this for the first time. color lab oil

Time to play. After going through each liquid it was time to mix them all together. mxing  color lab science

The shaving cream didn’t pour as well as the water did. color lab science pretend play

Want more science ideas for little ones? Check out our Science for Kids Pinterest board.

30 Fun Ways To Teach Colors

teach colors preschoolOver the years I have been asked by more than a few parents and readers why we stress color recognition in early childhood education. It can seem like busy work and as adults we don’t really use this skill. But that’s not true at all, we do use the skills your little ones are using as they differentiate and recognize colors. Those skills develop as we develop and turn into letter recognition, recognizing sight words, and other higher level sorting. Just because this is important stuff and the building blocks for even more learning doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun! Sitting your kids down and getting them to memorize color names won’t offer them the opportunity to sort the same way a hands on activity will so have fun and the learning will happen.

Here are 30 ways to teach colors with fun hands on activities.

color mixing edit

Mix and Make Color Mixers
Mixing Colors In The Snow
Roll A Rainbow Game
Star Sensory Bin and Color Sorting
Colored Glue Exploration
color mixing with shaving cream 3
No Mess Shaving Cream Color Mixing
Make Your Own Finger Paint
Rainbow Playdough Match & Stick
Matching Nature Color Hunt
DIY Light Box & Color Exploration

craft for boys
Traffic Light Craft & Color Matching
Rainbow Gelatin Sensory Tub
Gross Motor Color Matching for Toddlers
Garbage Truck Color Sorting
Indoor Bug Hunt
Trash Rainbow Craft and Preschool Activity
Trash Rainbow Collage
Color Heart Sorting
Spin Art Rainbows
Creepy Crawly Color Sorting
Valentine Color Matching Mural
how to teach colors
Monochromatic Texture Collage
Feather Match
iPhone Photo Safari Color Hunt
Cork Painted Rainbow
Mess Free Color Mixing
color matching butterflies
Butterfly Color Matching
Multilingual Color Hunt
Color Mixing with Ice
Easter Egg & Bunny Color Match
Water Balloon Color Mixing

DIY Light Table

how to make a light table

While my son is at school I tend to use that time for errands and it’s really not fair to my toddler so today when I saw the extra string of Christmas lights I decided we’d have some fun exploring colors. This DIY light table should not be used for long periods of time, only with a parent right there at the box and please don’t let your kids touch the light strands as they have lead, and remember to wash your hands after touching them too. We only played for about 10 minutes and that was enough time for the lights to get warm so I wouldn’t play longer than that .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a clear plastic container with lid, some wax paper, a strand of white christmas lights, scissors and tape. For the colors we used take and toss cup lids. No need to buy expensive color forms if you have something you can use at home already.
  2. Start by putting the lights on the lid, I taped them down in 2 places just so they were staionary in the box.
  3. Cut some wax paper and line the bottom so the light diffuses well.
  4. Close the lid with the cord sticking out – mine closed no problem but you could cut a notch out if you can’t close the lid with the cord out. comfortably ( you don’t want to run the risk of the cord being cut, my lid was very loose and didn’t press into the cord).
  5. Plug in and play.
  6. She LOVED it.
  7. Explore.
  8. We piled them on , identified them – I had no idea she knew so many colors, we had a blast.

Please only try activities that you feel are safe for your family, I share what we have made and done with the request that you will only make and do what your child is ready for and you can do safely.

Book About Colors For Babies

I Love Colors by Margaret Miller is one of my daughter’s favorite books. When we went to the library she started pulling the parenting books off the shelf because there are pictures of babies on the covers. The librarian was quick to notice and started finding us books with babies and this was one of the winners. We have now renewed this book twice and read it many many times a day. The book is super simple and each page shows a baby with a colored item like glasses, a hair bow etc… the photos are big and of real babies which if your toddler is like mine, makes a big difference.

Art Exploration With Colored Glue

My son loves creating with glue, and lately color mixing has become a popular request for art time so yesterday I decided to mix the two with a super simple activity that focuses on process not product.  I have colored glue before but never in the bottles, as you will see it minimizes the mess for the project but it didn’t minimize it for the prep. I have a few tips for prep so you can skip the multi colored hands I am sporting today. This is also the perfect time of year for a project

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white glue, food color and paper. My son chose black paper which depending on your child will be super cool or horribly disappointing. When the glue is dry you will see almost no color if you use black. We were focusing on the process so black was fine. I included a version made on orange paper below to see the results on lighter paper.
  2. Start by protecting your table, colored glue can be a bug to get off.  I made a simple mat from a brown paper grocery bag, and attached it to the table top with painters tape.
  3. Make your colored glue. Starting with glue bottles that are not full. I thought this was enough space but when I do this again I am going to use half full bottles.
  4. Add your food color. Here is where I messed up. I treated the glue like water expecting the food color to incorporate easily but of course it just sits on top. You need to mix it, add more, mix than add more.  If you don’t when you turn them upside down ( tip – do not turn it upside down until well mixed) the food color will dribble out and make a huge mess.
  5. And while panic mounts and you clean up your hands will end up like this.
  6. Instead use only half a bottle of glue and a chopstick(or kabob skewer) to mix. Adding a small amount at a time until it’s the color you want.
  7. Time to invite the small ones to explore. No instructions, just have fun.
  8. He mixed colors.
  9. Loved the vibrant colors, my blue stained hands were totally worth it.
  10. Dry .As you can imagine it doesn’t show up well on black. My son exclaimed “It’s spy glue!” It also takes a long time to dry- so find a good place for it to sit for a full day. 
  11. This is a quick design I made on orange paper and let dry, the glossy colors are so fun!