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.
She was into it from the get-go. Look at those little hands working hard building new muscles. Hand 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.
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?
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!
Books About Color Mixing
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 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 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.