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8 Color Mixing Activities for Kids

Art is unlimited, when you first hear the words "color mixing", you might automatically think art. Art is a great way to explore color mixing. It be done in many other ways. Today, we offer you some new ideas to color mixing for kids. Hope you enjoy it. 

1. Brush watercolors onto doilies and watch the colors overlap

For this particular activity, you can used paper doilies on a vertical surface, like we did when we made our colorful waterfalls. The doilies are a bit delicate, perfect for light watercolors. When finished, you realized how lovely they would look strung across the classroom. A simple, fun art activity! Enjoy it right now! 

2. Colored water and medicine dropper

In this activity, we prepared 3 little cups of water mixed with food coloring. You’ll only need about 1-2 drops of blue and red, whereas about 5-6 drops of yellow is needed. Put a medicine dropper (or you can use pipettes) and a few plastic shot glasses on the tray for him.

We created a color mixing chart for him to use as a guide. He mixed 3-4 squeezes of each color into an empty shot glass. When he discovered the new color, he would place the correct color on the chart below: 

For toddlers, you can create a simplified version with only 2 colors to mix

Note:  Keep in mind some food coloring do stain clothes and hands. So, be carefully! 

3. Acrylic paint and paper

Put the primary colors acrylic paint on a palette, mixed the colors directly on watercolor paper. Mixing directly on paper is much more difficult and requires a lot more work from a child. You can still see some of the primary colors but I think that creates a nice effect.

4. Milk, food coloring and liquid dish soap

Materials need: 
A bowl
½ cup of milk
Dish soap
Cotton swab
Food Coloring, more than one color
Pepper (optional)


– Pour the milk into the bowl. Be careful not to move the bowl, you want the milk as still as possible.
– Put one drop of each color in different places in the milk.
– Put just a tiny amount of soap on the end of the cotton swab, then touch it to one of the colors. WOW!
– Let the experimenting begin!
– To clean up, just pour the milk down the drain. (Do not drink it)

How it Works:

Milk has fat in it and the food coloring floats on top of the fat. The fat is all connected with bonds. Think of it like the little pieces of fat all holding hands with each other. Dish soaps are used on greasy or oily dishes because it breaks the bonds in fats allowing them to separate. When you add the dish soap to the milk, the fat separates and moves making your magical milk art!

Extra Experiments:

Does the temperature of the milk have any effect?

Try whole milk and skim milk.

Sprinkle pepper on the milk before you add the soap, what happens to the pepper?

Have fun!

5. Color mixing to create shades

First, created a simple hand-drawn template include — 7 long rectangles on a piece of paper. Then, started by painting some un-mixed green paint in the middle rectangle.

Then, squeezed some white paint and asked him to mix it with his brush, then paint on the next rectangle. We did this 3 times so that the green would get lighter. You can see that the more white paint I squeezed, the lighter the green got.

Note: To create lighter shades, we had to squeeze quite a lot of white paint to get a discernible shade difference.

We started a clean bowl of green for darker shades and repeated the process.

6. Rainbow in a Bag: A Color Mixing Experiment

Combine 1 cup cornstarch, 1/3-cup sugar, and 4 cups cold water in a large pot.

Heat and stir constantly. Once the mixture begins to thicken, remove it from the heat and continue to stir for another minute. Divide the mixture into 2 bowls and set aside to cool. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl (one red bowl and one yellow bowl for example). Put some of each color mixture into a Ziploc gallon bag (and seal with duct tape if necessary). Let the child mush and mix the two colors together. Hang in the window to let the light shine through.

Notes: We divided our mixture into three bowls for red, yellow, and blue, so that we could try mixing orange, green, and purple.
We used sandwich bags and didn't need the duct tape.

This color mixing experiment was lots of fun—squishy and sensory! And the bags of colored gel looked great in the window with the light shining through! Kind of like stained glass. Let's practice it with your child at home right now. Have fun time!  

7. Mixing Colors: Color Array Using a Tray and Pipettes

In this activity kids will explore color mixing in an organized arrangement using liquid watercolors and pipettes.

We practived mixing colors using liquid watercolors. And we did it in a more organized fashion, creating and array of colors. 

Use your pipette to transfer colors by following the array organization. So put a little red from first compartment in the top row into each compartment below it. Then put a little magenta from the left column in with the red and see what happens. Do this with each color below magenta to see what they look like when combined with the red.

Continue mixing the colors by following where each row and column intersect.

You can follow our art for kids pinterest board below: 

8. Playdough Color Mixing Activity Inspired by Little Blue and Little Yellow

Here’s a fun color mixing activity using playdough! The hands-on, sensory activity for kids is inspired by Leo Lionni’s popular children’s book, Little Blue and Little Yellow. It's such a wonderful story and really lends itself to so many extension activities. In this story two friends, Little Blue and Little Yellow, are so excited to see each other that they hug. They mix and turn green and run around playing and having fun. This causes a few problems once it’s time to go home. And it such great way to encourage a school and home connection. 

Playdough Color Mixing Activity

If you are a kindergarten teacher, you can teach them mixing blue and yellow playdough to make green! The kids always loved to explore the mixing of colors with this hands-on playdough activity.

After explore the activity in the classroom, you can put together little baggies containing a little yellow and little blue ball of play dough for the students to take home. Then, to retell the story using the little balls of play dough with the parents. 

Have fun! 


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