If you haven’t ever tried cotton ball color mixing with your students, then let me encourage you to give it a go! It is such a simple process and yet engaging to a mixed age group of students. Here is how it works…

The invitation

The invitation to explore colors and color mixing with cotton balls is definitely inviting all by itself. My students didn’t hesitate to head on over and get right to work.

Most of the children began by putting one color on each cotton ball. I noticed at this stage, their focus was on color and absorption. What would happen if I put the red water on the cotton ball. A little science!

I eventually invited some of the children to see what might happen to the color if they put more than one color on a cotton ball.

The more color the children added, the more they could see the colors mix together.

All throughout the morning the children stopped by to explore the process. Often times, coming back around for a second or third look at our color mixing station. When the cotton balls were full of color, I simply rinsed off the tray and set up a new tray with cotton balls to start up again. I purposely left the cotton balls spread out so the children would be more thoughtful in the coloring process rather than color a whole clump of cotton balls at once. Super simple to set up and keep it up!

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