Red Flags
Allow the children to mix the colors-adding as much or as little as they wish. They are exploring; it is the process of the exploration that is important in this activity. They do not have to make actual green, orange, or purple. In fact, when they are finished, all the sections may look the same-as if they were filled with muddy water!

Questions to Ask
What do you think might happen when the color is dropped into the clear water? How many different colors do you think you can make? What will happen if you put some colored water on a paper towel/coffee filter? What is happening? Encourage your children to talk about what they are observing.

Tips for Less Mess
Cover the work area with newspaper, old towels or a sheet. Dress in old clothes, smocks, or aprons. Have paper towels and a garbage bag handy. Food color can stain skin easily, but it will come out after multiple washings.

To explore the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow.

What You Need

  • Red, yellow, and blue food color lightly diluted in three separate yogurt containers.
  • Styrofoam egg carton
  • Eye dropper, straw, or 1/4 teaspoon or other small spoon
  • Water
  • Coffee filters or paper towels

    What to Do
    Give each child an empty egg carton-preferably white. Have the children place a small amount of water in each section. Allow them to use droppers, straws, or spoons and prepared primaries to drop colors into the egg carton to make new colors. They can then place a few drops of the mixed colors on coffee filters or paper towels.

    Try This
    Dip the corner of a paper towel or coffee filter in the colored water. What happens? Try folding a fresh coffee filter/paper towel and then dip a corner in the colored water. What do you see when you unfold your paper? Try drawing a picture on various weights of white paper with water soluble markers. What happens if you spray the finished picture with clear water?

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