Color Mixing Activities For Preschool

Color mixing activities for young children. Great hands on ways to discover color.When I teach my students about colors one of my favorite ways is to call them to the table where we all get to make our own colors. Creating their own colors is a wonderful mix of science and art and allows children to learn through a meaningful activity. These color mixing activities are all fun ways for children to learn about colors as well as get a chance to be what I call a color scientist!

color mixing mystery baking soda and vinegar volcano

Color Mixing with Baking Soda and Vinegar 

Color Mixing With Shaving Cream

NO MESS Shaving Cream Color Mixing 

color mixing with play dough

Color Mixing with Play Clay 

rp_color-mixing-lesson-with-ice-768x1024.jpg

Color Mixing with Ice Cubes 

TURKEY BASTER COLOR MIXING

 

Color Mixing with Turkey Basters 

color lab water

Color Lab Science Play 

NO MESS COLOR MIXING IN PLASTIC BAG

NO Mess Color Mixing ( I do this in my class with snack sized bags)

Water Balloon Art

Color Mixing Canvas with Water balloons. 

broccoli painting outside

Color Mixing and Painting with Broccoli 

 

 

Color Mixing with Play Clay – Hand Strength Activity

color mixing free choice activity Who doesn’t love concocting new things? My kids can’t be the only ones making potions with hand soap, mouthwash and shampoo behind locked bathroom doors!  I like to use that enthusiasm for a less wasteful activity like color mixing with play clay. You can lay it out and let them go for it, or make it a more structured activity and have specific pairs to be smushed together.  Kneading the dough is great for building hand strength and mixing two colors together takes a few minutes of good kneading. You can do this with playdough, plasticine, or use the Melissa & Doug modeling compound like we did. What I like about this compound that was sent to me to try out is that it’s super soft and feels great on little fingers.

Gather your materials. You will need a tray with lots of little compartments for different colors. I used an ice tray. You will also want something to protect your table like a tray and, of course, your play clay.

color mixing lesson

Start by putting just a teeny bit of a whole bunch of colors into the compartments. Call your color scientist to come make you some new colors!color mixing with play dough

She was into it from the get-go. Look at those little hands working hard building new muscles. color mixing with play doughHand strength is important for handwriting and other tasks like tying shoes, buttoning shirts and pants, and using utensils. So giving your children opportunities to work on it without making them feel like they are working on it is important.

color mixing vlogging

See that little mirror? That’s her pretend camera, she narrated the whole activity because as she told me ” She was vlogging!” can you tell she has grown up with a blogger for a mom?

colors mixed

After she mixed each pair she decided to mix all these colors together. Before she did I asked her to make a prediction about what color it would be. Then she was off to mixing the colors. Her prediction was gray and she was right!color mixing play clay

Books About Color Mixing

all our 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 are 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 the 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.

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