Messy Play: colour mixing

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This week the 4yo has been asking what colours he can make if he mixes other colours together.

After guiding him through the primary colour mixes, he wanted to know what colours he could make mixing 3/4/5 colours together. Each time my answer was brown!

Typical of his age, he didn’t believe me and asked if we could experiment?

Of course we can!

So we did :)

First of all I put the primary colour mixes together for him, a splodge of each colour on a paper plate.

I explained that mixing the primary colours created a set of secondary colours.

blue + yellow = green
red + yellow = orange
blue + red = purple

I then explained that you can mix different combinations of all these colours to create different shades (I’ve seen these referred to as the tertiary colours): bluey/green, yellowy/green etc.

He asked what would happen if we mixed white or black with them. I explained that white would make lighter shades of each colour, but that black would just make black – unless mixed with white to make grey!

He then wanted to see what would happen when he mixed three colours together, would it really just make a shade of brown?

He chose pink, orange and purple! And, it did indeed make brown – a rather lovely tan!

Then, it was time for some painting!

Again, the initial aim seemed to be creating shades of brown. But then he decided to add a sun to cheer the picture up :)

We had a lot of fun. The 4yo loves to experiment and to learn. He was so curious about what would happen with each new colour mix and I suspect that this won’t be the last time we try this particular activity :)

I’ve also done a bit of googling and found some other fun colour mixing activities, so the next time he asks we can try something a little different!

Although this wasn’t the messiest activity we’ve done, it was an excellent learning opportunity. Easy to do, minimal clear up required, and one very happy boy!

Edspire Messy Play

I’ve linked this post up to #PoCoLo from Verily, Victoria Vocalises.

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8 thoughts on “Messy Play: colour mixing”

  1. Love this, Esther and William always paint in pink and purple x Think I might try this to get them to enjoy other colours and count all the ways you can make brown!!

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