Friday, July 23, 2010

DIY Science @ Home - Color Mixing

Science is a big part of almost everything in our world, so it's best to keep kids thinking it's fun.  Experimenting is fun.  So let's do a little experimenting with colors!  Yes, it's also art.

My wee ones have been doing this since they were wee little ones.  Scooter use to sit in his high chair mixing colors, just because it was fun.  And because I'm a science geek....and that's how I entertain my children.

So here's my second installment of DIY Science @ Home.  We're experimenting with mixing the primary colors to come up with the secondary colors.  You can keep it simple for the young ones and just work on naming the colors and let them mix away.  With older preschool children you can have them mix up the colors and do a color wheel or chart.  

Online Background Resources: (I'll show you where to get the info, cause I don't give it all to you.)
Coloring Mixing at Enchanted Learning
Coloring Mixing and Activity Pages at First Learning
The Color Wheel and Worksheets at Kid Zone
An Educator's Reference Desk Lesson Plan for Color Mixing
An Educator's Reference Desk Lesson Plan for Color My World (mmm....frosting)

A Few Key Facts:
  • The primary colors are blue, yellow, and red.
  • The secondary colors are from mixing two of the primary colors together.  These are green, orange, and violet.  (We call it purple....cause that's what my little ones are familiar with).
  • Black and White?  Best not to confuse the little ones with this yet, but here's some info.  When talking about color as is the absence of light, so therefore it's not a color.  White light is a blending of all colors, so therefore some say it is a color.  When you are mixing pigments, black is a color.  Kids will get this when they mix all the primary colors together.  And white...well, it wouldn't be a color then or some would say it is.  I know....confusing...and I really don't feel like debating it.  Why did I even put that in?  I don't know.  Keep it is the color you get when mixing all the colors together. 
  • Clear mixing containers, such as drinking glasses.
  • A measuring item, such as a tablespoon.
  • Food coloring in blue, red, and yellow. 
  • Water.
  • Paper, markers and/or crayons.
  • Rags or paper towel.

1) Mix up your primary colors in clear containers.  I put in 4 drops of food coloring into about 3/4 cup water and let Scooter stir.  You'll end up with blue, yellow, and red.  But you already knew that.  I used a bowl of water for Scooter to rinse off his tablespoon between colors.

2) Start mixing and recording results.  We used 5 tablespoons of each color.  Blue + Yellow =

3)  Blue + Red =

4) Red + Yellow = A color.  The photo below shows Scooter recording the results on the chart I made.  You can make your own or print one out from one of the resources listed above.

5) Red + Yellow + Blue =

6) Free mixing time.  Let the kid mix whatever they want.

7) Optional - try this with crayons.  It's a little harder to do, but not as messy.  You have to really rub the crayon colors over one another.
1)  What color do you get when you mix blue and yellow, blue and red, red and yellow?
2) What happens when you mix all the colors together?
3) What happens if you mix 1 tablespoon of one color and 5 tablespoons of another color?

And for your viewing pleasure and to see a little bit of Scooter doing this with me....I'm going to try and upload a video of us color mixing.

What's your favorite color?  Color mixing tips and tricks?  Painting in your future?  I'd love to hear about it!

Have a great weekend!  *smile*


  1. Cute post. I am teaching colors for show and teach for my sons kindergarten class today. :o)

  2. Hallo,
    You really have a nice blog. I wish to ask You something.
    I come from Croatia and I'm doing a little blog about children and how to become a small science. In Croatian, unfortunately many people doesn't know any other language, so my dream is to help them by creating a page where there can read, teaching and doing things with theire children.
    I wish to put Yours picture from this page, so they can better understand What they doing.
    I will name the picture with Your blog, if You agree I can use them.
    I really don't want to expose Your child if You don't like it.
    Thank You for reading this

    1. Hi Monika,
      Thank you for asking! Yes, you may use photos from this page with a mention of my blog. It is wonderful that you are creating a page for parents and helping them to get their children interested in science. Good luck with your blog! You'll have to send me a link to it! Thanks again, Chrissy


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