Colors of the Rainbow

Colors of the Rainbow Activity

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Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet — create a rainbow of colors out of the three primaries (and white)! Help your child to learn about the science of color through this thoroughly experimental art activity. Make a special color wheel that displays the primary and secondary colors. Encourage your child to be a mini-scientist and hypothesize what will happen when he mixes red and yellow. Set up a special color mixing exploration and discover how two colors can mix together to form an entirely new appearing hue.

The Color Blending Rainbow activity can be expanded into other learning areas (in addition to art and science). Practice the basic math skill of counting with your child as he numbers each row of his especially unique rainbow.

What You Need:

  • White drawing or construction paper
  • Tempera paints in red, blue, yellow, and white
  • Paint brush
  • Water cup and water (for cleaning the brush)
  • Paint palette or tray

What You Do:

  1. Discuss color mixing with your child. Use art vocabulary words such as primary and secondary colors. Ask him to think about (or hypothesize) what will happen when two of the primary colors mix together.
  2. Place the paints in small puddles on a palette, tray, or other washable surface. A reused foam fruit or vegetable tray works well for this step.
  3. Ask your child to experiment with color mixing. Test his hypothesis by mixing two or more of the colors together to create new ones.
  4. Have your child begin painting his rainbow. Encourage him to use lines that bend and curve.
  5. Set aside to dry.

After the rainbow painting has dried, discuss what new colors were created. Ask your child to count each layer of the rainbow (or new color) for a fun math exercise.

Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

Updated on Jun 18, 2013
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See more activities in: Preschool, Painting & Drawing
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