Color Theory for Toddlers

by Marie on August 4, 2008

Today’s post is part of a Guest Post Swap. Jessica, from Zakka Life is guest posting here on Make and Takes and I’m lucky enough to be guest posting over at Zakka Life. Read here about introducing colors to children, then click over to read about The Magic of Music.

This project was inspired by a VBS (Vacation Bible School) project where the kids made fire out of red and yellow paint. After looking at my son’s project, it occurred to me that this could be a great color theory lesson for little ones. Directions below:

Supplies:

  • Paint: red, yellow and blue – tempera is probably best for kids but you can use acrylic too
  • Small zip lock bags

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Step1. Add about a tsp of blue paint and a tsp of yellow paint in bag (refer to picture). Seal closed.

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Step2. Have the child squish the bag together to combine the two colors. It should soon look like the picture above.

Repeat steps one and two using color combinations red/yellow for bag 2 and red/blue for bag 3.

When doing this project, here are some questions you can ask the child?

  • What colors are in the bag to begin with?
  • What color do you think the two colors will make?
  • What colors do you see? (ask when they are mixing the colors)
  • Point to different shades of the color green and ask them what’s the difference. Point out that there are lighter shades of green and darker shades of green.
  • Challenge the child to squish the colors till it makes one solid color.

What’s nice about this project opposed to just mixing the paint on paper is the results are slower. The child can watch what is happening and see what colors they started with. I also found that children like squishing the bag even when the project is done. And best of all, no mess!

Thanks, Jessica, for helping us to introduce colors to our kids. I love the hands-on of the paint and that they really get to see the colors mix into something new. We’ll be mixing colors this week!

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