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 

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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

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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.

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

Roll a Rainbow Activity For Kids

rainbow activities for kidsNeed a break from winter weather? How about a game that is fun, easy to play and helps teach your kids about the order of the  colors of a rainbow. My kids have both known their colors since they were young toddlers but knowing the order they appear in the rainbow is tricky. Do you still say ROY-G-BIV to yourself in your head? I do. I don’t expect my kids to know the order off hand after a few rounds but they did leave with a clear understanding that the order is not dynamic and that the order is a pattern of primary and secondary colors.  If you don’t have Duplo on hand you can use pipe cleaners, pompoms, or paper and crayons and have your child draw the arcs. As you will see this simple rainbow activity for kids is a cinch to make and my kids were totally into it!

Gather your materials. You will need some Duplo ( or alternatives already mentioned) , a die, construction paper in the rainbow colors and tape. roll a rainbow color activity for preschool

Since the die only had 6 sides and we included indigo to make a proper rainbow I had my kids start with red as the 1st color and left it off the die.  I cut all the paper into squares and taped them on the die.build a rainbow game for kids

Time to play. Make a pool of colors and let the youngest roll first. I would usually do rock paper scissors to see who goes first but my daughter always chooses rock so my son always wins.

Roll the die and pick up the color you roll. If you roll a color you already have you do nothing. The first person to have all the colors of the rainbow wins.roll and build a rainbow game for preschool

My daughter was off to a great start.make a rainbow game for kids

It had her big brother very very worried. roll a rainbow game for kids

Then they tied it uprainbow game for kids and I had them both review the colors in order. I love this picture and the two of them speaking at the same time captures what it’s like at my house 75% of the time. learning the colors of the rainbow with a fun game

They both needed indigo – which was a nice to be stuck because it was the color they were the least familiar with and we talked about where it went at length. Finally someone ( can you guess who?) rolled it… and won. roll a rainbow game for preschoolWe played until my daughter also got indigo and they could both proudly display their rainbows . rainbow game