Handprint color mixing in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on December 28, 2011

in Creative Art, Handprint Color Mixing

I have a student in my class that LOVES  and I mean LOVES to mix his colors.  For any activity that we explore, he will ask if he can mix the colors. I struggled with this at the beginning of the year because everything he was taking home was ultimately turned into a muddy lovely shade of brown. But then I realized that I need to instead focus on helping him learn about these colors and how they blend together – even if they turn into a muddy brown…

For one of our color mixing processes, we did a simple but very fun color mixing activity that focused on the three basic colors – red, yellow, and blue.  Each child started with a sheet of paper and two colors of paint – for example, we started with red and yellow…

I painted one hand with red paint and one hand with yellow (our students love getting their hands painted) and then invited them to make one red and one yellow handprint in the corners of their paper….

Then we freshened up the yellow and red paint. Next, I asked the children to tell me “if you have red paint on one hand and yellow paint on the other hand – what color will you have when the two are mixed together?” The children would shout out their guesses and for the most part, the children guessed correctly but it didn’t matter if they did or not because now we were going to find out for sure…

I invited the children to rub their two hands together really, really good then see what color their hands now were.  We discovered that red and yellow make orange! Then the children made orange handprints on the remaining white part of their page…

Once we completed this process for yellow and orange, the children washed their hands and we repeated the process with two new colors.  The children now knew what the process would be and were very excited to repeat the process for the colors red and blue…

And once again for the colors yellow and blue. For each new set of colors, we started with a new sheet of plain white paper. I have saved these to make a color book for the children to take home later…

The children loved rubbing the two colors of paint together in their hands and because the process was so much fun, they asked if they could now try all three colors of paint.

So we went with it to see what the results might now be. We added red to one hand then blue to the other hand then a dot of yellow inside the middle of each hand so the children could plainly see all three colors to begin with…

We made two handprints at the top of our page with a blob of yellow in the middle then rubbed our hands together and finger painted some more…

And we discovered that all three colors make – well, it all depends on your perspective here:)

And then the children decided they wanted to continue color mixing, so we added a few more colors of paint and paint brushes to all the paint and let them have at it.  By the way, our hands were quite pruny now from all the handwashing between each color mixing activity but the children still wanted to proceed

They added a dot of each color at the top of their page then painted their own hands…

Rubbed our hands together once again…

And made more handprints…

Super fun and a great process for exploring color mixing….

Books I recommend for this activity…

       

Colorful Links to Grow On…

Fun with colorful bubbles

The color game

Colorful fine motor play

Mixing colored water

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

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