Looking for some science fun? Try this mixing colors activity!
Mixing colors is basically toddler magic. Red can become orange? Yellow can turn in green? Blue is changed to purple?! This is all so magical for children – and having the chance to explore this phenomenon is powerful.
RELATED: Looking for more play-based learning activities each day? Try my program: Playing Preschool.
What a quick and easy mixing colors activity!
This activity doesn’t need much: it’s fast to prep but can provide literally hours of fun for kids.
An activity like this gets played with a my house for days … I’m on constant water refill duty but I don’t mind at all. This is such an engaging activity for young children (mine are 4 and 28 months old here).
All you need is the three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue.
RELATED: Looking for more color mixing fun? Check out this color exploration kit!
You don’t need many supplies either!
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- Food coloring
- Jars or containers (clear is best)
- Ice cube tray
- Larger sensory bin to container the water spills
- Medicine syringes (yes, all those old ones can be used again)
I started with just the primary colors – I dyed water red, blue, and yellow. I never worry about food coloring staining – it is so diluted from the water that it’s always been just fine for me.
I grabbed a few medicine syringes from the roughly 48 left over ones I have floating around my house because those little guys are hidden gems for activities. They work SO WELL.
Inside a tub, I set the ice cube tray – the perfect place to mix these colors!
I did a little “teaching” to start the activity
For the first bit of mixing colors, I sat with my kids and we talked and predicted.
I introduced the “primary colors” as really important colors – they make EVERY OTHER COLOR.
Today, let’s see what happens when we MIX COLORS.
What do you predict will happen when red and yellow are mixed together?
And together, we did this experiment. We repeated this for red and blue & blue and yellow.
There was “magical screaming”
Can you imagine the thrill when my kids WATCHED the colors change?
It was ELECTRIC in our kitchen as they worked through this!
Once we finished those colors, I left them to “free play”.
For the first 10 minutes or so, I did encourage them to only put TWO colors in each slot on the ice cube tray.
After all the slots were filled up, they would tip the ice cube tray and reset the activity. I love when kids can reset their own activity.
They learned so much about hues and shades of colors all on their own – the magic of a great activity!
Eventually, I really let them loose…
My daughter (4) asked if they could experiment with mixing many colors together and I gave the green light on that!
What would happen with blue and red and yellow mixed together?
They loved mixing colors to find out!!
Mixing colors went on for days
This activity took on a life of it’s own and my kids couldn’t get enough.
Eventually, it transitioned into a water pouring station – another favorite activity around here!
What a winner for my kids and what a moment to watch science come to life and unfold in front of them.