My four-year-old is very confident in his colors, so I’ve decided it’s time to start teaching him about color mixing. You know, color combinations like “blue + yellow = green” or “red + yellow = orange”.
Learning colors is one thing, but teaching color combinations isn’t always as easy. When I described the concept of mixing colors to Luke and he looked at me like I was crazy I knew a hands-on approach would do the trick. Having taught my three oldest this concept years earlier, I had a few tricks up my sleeve.
Here are three hands-on ways to teach color mixing, and make it fun!
1. Create Color Mixing Art: Luke loves to paint and create masterpieces to grace our schoolroom walls, so I knew a color mixing lesson with paints would peak his interest. I took a paper plate and squirted a paint dab onto it of each of the primary colors – red, blue, and yellow. Then, I let him have fun with our sponge painters. He rolled the colors all around his paper, making fun designs and artistic effects.
Every time he would pass the sponge painter with one color over another color on the paper, you could see the colors mixing. This gave me the perfect opportunity to point it out to him. Soon, he was mixing the colors on purpose and the finished product looked almost like a sunset picture!
2. Shaving Cream & Food Coloring: This is a fun but messy way to learn about mixing colors. I would suggest doing this in the bath tub for easiest clean-up! Buy a can of the inexpensive white shaving foam. You can find this at most dollar stores. Add a few drops of food coloring and let your child mix it in. Add another color, and watch the new color emerge. Luke thought this was super cool, and got excited about trying different color combinations.
3. Watercolors & Coffee Filters: This is one of my favorite ways to teach color combinations, because the end product looks so pretty! Take inexpensive coffee filters and let your child paint them with watercolors. We like ALEX’s Jumbo Shapes Watercolor Set and paint brushes, since they’re easier for little hands. As the watercolors mix on the thin coffee filter paper, they spread and make a beautiful effect. It’s a clear demonstration of color mixing and creating new colors. After your coffee filters have dried, you can make coffee filter flowers!
Hands-on teaching is often the best way to go with preschoolers. They retain information better if they learn while having fun! So pull out your paints and shaving foam, and have fun mixing colors with your little one!
Sign up for the ALEX blog newsletter to have tips, free printables and loads of fun arts and crafts projects delivered to your inbox each week! Just enter your email address in the box on the upper right hand side of this page!