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

 

 

Color Sorting Sensory Tub

Halloween Sensory Activity with color sortingUsually when we do a sensory tub I don’t have a clear goal for it but with this mini one I did. This was a simple sorting activity that while focused on color sorting also naturally led to counting and comparing amounts. You don’t need to put this into a sensory tub but by adding the split peas I added sensory  and surprise elements that my daughter loved. When it was all done everything fit into a ziploc and can be taken back out for less structured play from now on.

Gather your materials. You will need some black and orange paper, black and orange creepy crawlies ( we used various spiders, ants, frogs, snakes etc… ) some split peas, and a container. I just grabbed the cheapest split peas at the store and didn’t notice until days later that there was a flavor packing with it. Just discard that if you have one unless you can think of a crafty way of using ham flavoring. If you do I am curious to hear it! creepy crawly color sorting

Pour the split peas in the container and hide the bugs etc… in it. creepy crawly sensory play

Place the paper on either side. creepy crawly color sorting halloween activity for kids

Invite your kiddo to come investigate. I didn’t have to tell her what to do , it was all right there and she naturally placed them on the matching color. As she did I did ask ” What are you discovering?” which started a discussion about that there were way more orange creepy crawlies than black. creepy crawly sensory play for halloween

Then she counted.creepy crawly halloween counting

Much time was also spent on just exploring the split peas. How they sounded when dropped back into the container from various heights and how some stuck to her hand if she squeezed them in her fist for a moment or two. creepy crawly sensory color sorting

Simple activities like these are my go to for short structured lessons. They still leave many doors open to let my daughter explore but include tid bits of more pointed learning. The vast majority of what we do is open child directed play and we fit in little activities like this 2-3 times a week. Kids don’t need giant blocks of structured learning at this age but if they like it and you want to work it in try playful ideas like this.

Books About Creepy Crawlies

All of our book titles are linked to Amazon with affiliate links.
 

spider

The Very Busy Spider was a favorite of my son’s from the get go. We have the board book edition and what I love about it, is that the spider web in it is raised and offers a sensory element to reading the story. This is a story of hard work, persistence and also helps reinforce animal sounds. Perfect for toddlers !

two bad ants

Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg is a very interesting story of two ants who decide not to return to the colony and hang out in a sugar bowl eating instead. Of course nothing is as it seems and they have quite an adventure trying to avoid all the dangers of a kitchen, realizing in the end that being a part of a colony isn’t so bad! This is a cute book for preschoolers who will love trying to guess what each new adventure the ants face really are- they include a toaster, hot coffee and an electrical outlet.

i love bugs

 

I Love Bugs!by Phileomon Sturges is a rare find. It is listed as fiction but I would consider it as non fiction, as it really is a great factual book about bugs for older toddlers/ young preschoolers. It is really hard to find simple, short books that include facts and this one is perfect. It doesn’t go into the life cycles of butterflies or how lightning bugs light up, but it does use descriptive words with bright and charming illustrations. Great for the under 3 crowd, and useful for older kids too!

 

 

 

iPhone Photo Safari {Color Hunt}

color hunt This is the 2nd post in our new series Unplanned and On The Go.  My daughter is starting to refuse nap ( pray for me) and if she doesn’t go to sleep we go outside if at all possible for a calm walk. On our walk she decided she wanted to look for colors and I suggested she take pictures with my iPhone. She is a whiz at handling my iPhone so with it’s ugly but kid friendly cover on it we set out to find some colors! It was a huge hit.

What we were doing : Going for a walk in an attempt to clam down and chill out before trying to nap again. I don’t give up easily and naps are my me time!

What I did to spark the activity : Handed my daughter my iPhone and said “Take pictures of the colors you see.”

color hunt

What it turned into : A fun colorful photo safari!  As we walked I had her find a color and then I handed her my phone to take a picture. I didn’t want her walking and looking down at the phone at the same time. Not a safe option for her or the phone. iphone color safari collage I was fascinated by which colors stood out for her in the photos she took.   We also found that when given the chance to be very careful with my phone she was. It was a lesson in trust and responsibility. I was super impressed with her pictures – she took each herself and while I re sized them for the post I only edited a few a tiny bit for clarity.

What is your favorite on the go activity with you kids? Leave a comment and let’s talk!