summaryChildren learn their colors and the wonders of painting by following a color book with this messy discovery of how colors mix.
- Reading Is Fundamental (written by Corrie Fisher)
- Arts and Crafts, Ideas for Every Season
- Indoor, Outdoor
Materials: Mouse Paint by Ellen Stollt Walsh; Red, blue, and yellow powdered tempura paints; Clear dishwashing liquid; Large sheets of plastic; Newsprint or butcher paper; Shallow containers for holding paint.
Set up: Cover an area with plastic sheeting, both the floor and lower part of the walls. Tape large sheets of newsprint or butcher paper onto the floor and walls. Mix one part powdered tempera paint with two parts clear dishwashing liquid. Set out dishes of yellow, blue, and red. Keep plenty of soapy water nearby for clean up. Directions Read Mouse Paint aloud with the children one-on-one or in very small groups, depending on the number of volunteers. Point out how the mice change colors when they mix with other colors. Follow the reading by allowing the children to be like the mice and do some finger painting and color mixing of their own. Dress babies in their bathing suits or diapers and set them on and in front of the paper. Set a dish of red, blue, and yellow paint in front of each child and allow them to dive into the colors and explore what colors they can make. When a sheet gets overloaded with paint, replace it with another sheet to continue the discovery. You may want to make color copies of the illustrations from the book to laminate and point to as the babies play. When the little ones start to lose interest, hang their art work to dry. Soap and water is all you need for a thorough clean up. Volunteer Involvement Assign volunteers to: Sit individually with children to help them discover the joys of mixing paints. Coach your volunteers about the importance of letting children make their own discoveries with the paints. Reinforce and describe what is happening while children are working. For instance: I see that you are mixing blue with yellow. I wonder what will happen to the yellow. It looks like green now. What lovely strokes you are making with the colors. Encourage interaction and model new possibilities while not restricting a childs discovery. Family Involvement Encourage families to: Work with colors with their very young children by mixing colors in the bathroom on bathtub walls. Mix dishwashing detergent with tempura paints to ensure easy clean up. Community Connection Take children on a color walk. Read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and when children find colors around them, make up a rhyme, such as: Little Babe, little babe, what do you see? I see a red truck zipping past me. Adaptations Help babies by positioning them in front of a mirror where they can see their reflection. Mix the colors onto the surface of the mirror by coloring in the features and clothing of the baby. Be sure to talk about what you are doing while keeping the focus on the baby. Colors easily wipe away to start more color fun.