A fun way to introduce Kindergarten to Color Mixing!

We had a FUN day in Kindergarten today! I only have 21 minutes with my kindergarteners which is sad but manageable because I just really break my lessons into steps. But we had fun today! We not only incorporated MUSIC into our lesson, but we also did a science experiment!

First, I opened up with the OK Go song, “Primary Colors” featured on Sesame Street. I love this song much more than other YouTube finds because it gets students to participate by asking questions in the second half of the song.

We watch this and then talk about what we “heard” in the song (I emphasize heard because I always point to my ears). Many of the kids recognize the three main colors, Red-Yellow-Blue (they don’t necessarily catch the “primary” aspect). And that Red and Yellow make Orange. Most catch how to make green and purple but some done because this is after they’ve received so much information already.

So then we move onto our science experiment. This is what my elementary science teacher did with my class so I had to steal it and throw it into art – cross curricular!!! The kids think I am seriously a magician because of this! All I do is get some Red, Yellow and Blue water (I use watered down liquid watercolor). And I also have three extra cups for mixing. We talk about how these three colors are so special because you cannot create them yet they create other colors. And then we play the call and respond game where I say “Red, Yellow, and Blue are…” and they respond with “Primary Colors”. I let them get really into this because it gets them pumped up.

Then I state, “Well the song claims that Red and Yellow make Orange but it is very important we prove them right!” And then we, with help from studebts, take half of the red water and mix it into a new cup with half of the yellow. The amount of “Ooos” and “Ahhs” is always rewarding. Then we talk about how we can always find Orange in between Red and Yellow on a rainbow because well, that’s how you make Orange!

photo 1

You can see where this is going of course.

Then we mix Green and Violet. We also talk about how Violet and Purple are the same but just have different choices for names. At the very end, I ask “What happens when you mix all of your colors together?!” They get very excited and some know the answer is “brown” but many are just too anxious to see the guess!

This can take as long as you want depending on the depth of where you want to go with it. Remember, I only have 20 mins and that includes, getting settled into our seats as well as my closing routine. My main goal is to get them to recognize colors, especially the primary and understand how other colors are mixed. They may not get it right away but they definite start to understand it better. And seriously, the kids will call you magic – simply because of this water trick!

Once you are all done with the color, dump it out. No brainer.

photo 3

This is when we revisit the song. Now that the students have seen the color mixing in action, they want to play the song again and I always encourage them to sing along and respond back to OK Go now that they know the answer! We dance and I enjoy that while this is not normal art involving a project, it’s a great way to go cross curricular AND begin the year. Next time we use tissue paper….hold onto your seat!

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One response to “A fun way to introduce Kindergarten to Color Mixing!

  1. I am doing something very similar with my kinder, first and second graders! They absolutely LOVE the video, I showed it last year and kids sang it all year long. I usually greet them at the door wearing a wizard hat to get them excited for the magic show. What a great lesson! 🙂

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