Did you know that a healthy human eye can see as many as 10 million colors? It’s pretty amazing that this range of colors can come from the three primary colors, red, blue, and yellow. As children start to gravitate towards certain colors and claim favorites, you can start to teach them about basic color theory, how to create their favorite color, or help create new colors! From shaking books to squishing hair gel, these are some of our favorite ways to engage children in exploring color theory.
MIX IT UP!
Introduce children to color mixing through this interactive book that will result in many giggles, but zero mess! With a simple tilt, shake, or squish of Mix It Up! (followed by a turn of the page) children will be dazzled watching primary colors combine into secondary colors. Children will also gain knowledge of tints and shades as they use white to make colors lighter and black to make colors darker. Mix It Up! Is recommended for children ages 3-6.
Sun-Catcher Sensory Bags
After watching colors mix within the pages of a book, the natural next step for exploring color relationships is to mix colors live. Though mixing paint like in the book is a simple go-to activity, we love these Sun-Catcher Sensory Bags by Growing a Jeweled Rose. They are made by placing clear hair gel into resealable plastic bags, then adding food coloring in two different primary colors to each side of the bag. Children will delight in watching secondary colors emerge as they squish the bag.
Walking Rainbow Science Experiment
The Walking Rainbow Science Experiment requires less hands on interaction from children, but they will still love watching colors “walk” from full jars into empty jars, mixing together to complete a full rainbow of colors. The experiment starts with six mason jars arranged in a circle. Three of them are empty and three are filled with either red, yellow, or blue colored water. Rolled paper towels are then placed into each jar, with one end sitting in the colored water and one end sitting in an empty jar. Over the course of 48 hours, watch the colored water get pulled up the paper towel, then down into an empty jar. Once two primary colors get dropped into the same jar, secondary colors will emerge, completing the rainbow.
One of ThinkFun’s newest releases, Kaleidoscope, is a single player pattern matching game that challenges players to use their knowledge of primary and secondary colors in combination with their spatial reasoning skills to recreate the patterns shown on each challenge card. The game includes six tiles, each with a combination of two of the three primary colors. To recreate patterns with the colors green, orange, and purple, players will mix primary colors by stacking tiles together, then holding them up to the light! Kaleidoscope Puzzle is recommended for ages 8 to adult.
Spectrix is a colorful take on the classic game of Rummy where players engage with a full spectrum of colors in a race to be the first player to get rid of all their cards. Played in multiple fast placed rounds, players will aim to build collections of the same colors, or color sequences based on the order of colors on the Spectrix Guide card. Spectrix comes with 96 Spectrix Cards, (8 sets of 12 unique colors) 6 Guide Cards, and is recommended for ages 8 to adult.