Ages 3-5 Identifying and mixing all the colors of the rainbow with food coloring and water.
Students will identify the primary colors (red, yellow, blue).
Students will identify the secondary colors (orange, purple, green)
Students will be able to mix all the secondary colors using the primaries.
Students will be able to mix brown using complementary colors (blue+orange, green+red, yellow+orange)
Primary: colors that are used to make all other colors (red, yellow, blue)
Secondary: colors made from mixing 2 primaries (orange, green, purple)
Neutral: somewhere between two extremes; in art: muddy earthy colors
9 water bottles + 1 more per child
Food coloring (red, yellow, blue)
age-appropriate text on color theory (Ex: Mouse Paint, How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow)
Read chosen color theory book
Have children identify all the colors on the pages while reading
Activity: Mixing all the colors of the rainbow with colored water
Discuss how some colors can’t be mixed - the primary colors. They have to be found in nature, and they can be used to make all of the other colors
Start with 6 empty water bottles (preferably wide, stable ones with wide caps, like gatorade).
Have children help pour water into 3 of the bottle, until they are almost full.
Drop primary colored food coloring into the 3 full bottles, screw on cap and have students shake to mix.
Ask students what all the colors of the rainbow are, and which ones we’re missing (green, purple and orange, the secondary colors).
Use a funnel pour the primary colors into 3 new bottles to create the secondary colors
Ask students if they know how to make brown. Say there a lot of different ways, you just need complimentary colors. Split water bottles into complementary pairs (green+red, yellow+purple, blue+orange).
Pour some of each pair into new bottles to create 3 different bottles of brown water. (**food coloring is not always truly primary, so you may need to adjust. Have students help with this process)
Review the ways that colors are categorized
Primary: colors that have to be found in nature, that can’t be mixed. Primary means first, they’re the first colors you need to mix all the others. Red, yellow, blue
Secondary: Colors that come from mixing 2 primary colors. Secondary means it comes second. It’s the second set of colors you get from mixing the primaries. Orange, green, purple
Complimentary: Colors that are opposites. Together, they make brown.
Free color exploration time: Provide students with their own water bottle and allow them to mix any of the colors they like, or try to mix a color we haven’t made yet.