Color mixing is fascinating for kids to observe! The simplest way for children to understand that mixing primary colors makes secondary colors, is by doing it.
10 Simple Color Mixing Activities for Kids
These color mixing activities use either food coloring or paint in primary colors, mixed together or onto various household objects to create secondary colors. These can be done with a wide range of ages, however preschoolers especially love to observe this magic.
Do any of these activities after reading one of the books below, and create a fun and engaging lesson for kids of all ages at home or in school!
Grab a set of pipettes or droppers and some snow (if you have any). Mix food coloring and water to create three jars of colored water: red, blue and yellow. Kids can drop the colors into the snow and observe as they mix together.
If you’ve never tried the magic milk experiment, it’s a must-do with kids. Add food coloring to milk, then dip a q tip dipped in dish soap into the milk. The colors swirl around just like magic. Use primary colors to step it up a notch and watch as the secondary colors form!
Sensory bags are a wonderful way to engage in fun and learning with babies and toddlers, as it is a mess-free way to play with sensory materials. Add some food coloring to clear hair gel, and place two colors of gel into a ziplock bag. Mix the colors together in the bag and watch as they mix!
Finger paint is such a fun way to play with color. Place a large piece of paper on the floor on top of a plastic tablecloth, and let kids play!
Make a batch of homemade sidewalk paint by mixing cornstarch and water. Add food coloring to create three batches of primary colored sidewalk paint. As kids paint with it, it will mix together forming new colors.
Did you know it’s easy to color sand with food coloring? Mix two primary colors into a batch of play sand and see what happens. Do this at the beach, in the backyard sand pit, or in your kitchen. Sand is a wonderful sensory tool to play with.
Painting on ice is such a fun way to paint with watercolors. Lay out red, blue and yellow watercolors and some large ice cubes. Children can paint on them and watch as the colors mix together. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the ice to show children how it helps ice melt.
Place white fluffy shaving cream onto a baking sheet and drop food coloring on top. Using a knife or a straw, swirl the colors around, mixing them together. This creates a beautiful effect on the shaving cream. Place a piece of paper on top and press down lightly to create a marbled print with the color mixing!
Similar to the shaving cream above, place a layer of baking soda on a tray. Drop colored vinegar onto he baking soda and observe as the fizzy reactions mixes the colors together.
Place primary colored paint on a piece of paper and cover with bubble wrap. Tape on a larger piece of paper, poster board or a plastic tablecloth, and let kids jump on the bubble wrap, mixing the colors together and revealing some fun sensory process art for kids.
Give one of these color mixing activities a try, and pair it with one of the books below!
Color Mixing Books for Kids
These books are awesome and engaging for kids. Read them before of after doing any of the activities above to bring your color mixing fun full circle. The pages of our Mix it Up book prove just how loved and fun this book really is!