Shades of Color Painting

What You Need:

  • Red and blue paint (you can use any two primary colors)
  • Plastic cups
  • Assorted paintbrushes

What You Do:

  1. Place the materials in front of your child and tell her that today you're going to be experimenting with color mixing.
  2. Ask her if she can guess what color she'll make if she mixes red and blue (or whatever colors you're using) together. Help her pour equal amounts of each color into the same cup, then she can use the paintbrush to mix them together. What color is she making?
  3. Split the new purple paint between three plastic cups, and set two aside. Tell her she can change the shade by adding in more red or blue. Have her pick which color she wants to add, then use another paintbrush to mix the paint together. Which shade does she like better?
  4. Have her take another cup and adjust the shade as she pleases. Out of all three, which one is her favorite? Allow her to add more red or blue as she chooses.
  5. If she wants to make more shades, give her more plastic cups, and let her experiment. She can use mostly red with just a drop of blue and see what happens, or the other way around.
  6. When she's made all the shades she wants, give her a piece of paper and have her paint a picture using only the new shades she's mixed. How creative can she get?

When she's all done with this activity, don't forget to try it out with different colors. The more she experiments, the more she'll learn, and the fact that she mixed her own paint makes the finished product extra special.

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