Color Mixing Experiment

walking water experiement

My daughters often ask to do a science experiment.  So I turn to Pinterest and hunt for something with few (and free!) materials.  The water experiment from Coffee Cups and Crayons fit the bill.  Just fill two glasses with water and drop some food coloring in.  Place a third empty cup between them.  Fold two paper towels lengthwise and put one end in the food coloring and one end in the empty cup.  Watch the water saturate the paper towel and flow into the empty cup.  My kids were amazed at how quickly the water moved up the paper towel.  It is a great way to see how colors mix.  It only takes a few minutes to see the new color, but the longer you wait the deeper the hue.

Materials:

  • food coloring
  • three clear cups
  • water
  • two paper towels
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Playdough Color Wheel

I tried my hand at homemade playdough for the first time.  I am no cook.  But since the end product is not supposed to be edible, how can I mess it up?  I used this recipe from Domestic Super Hero.  Don’t worry.  You don’t need to be super hero at all.  I made three batches: red, yellow, and blue.

color mixing with play dough

Then the fun part: mixing colors!  I divided each of my colors of playdough into two equal halves and then set one of the halves off to the side.  The remaining half should be divided in half again.  (Perfect time to talk about how fractions are equal parts of a whole.)  Now you have two equal fourths of each color.  Time to mix!  Take 1/4 of the red and smoosh it together with 1/4 of the blue.  It takes awhile, so you might have to help if your kiddo wears out on the mixing.  See if your kid can guess the color that you are making…then see if it actually turns out.  Our purple was a little on the gray side.  But you can always add a pinch more red or blue to tweak the color.

play dough color wheel from Mr. Printable

Our last step was to put our colors on a color wheel.  There are tons of free blank color wheels out there.  I used the secondary color wheel from Mr. Printables.  I liked how the color words were labeled so my daughters could match them up.  If you don’t have a reader yet, give them clues like “Red has three letters.  Can you find the word blue?  It starts with the letter B.  Orange is red and yellow mixed together so it should be in between them.”

play dough color wheel

 

And if you are still in the mood to play, here are 15 more ways you can learn with playdough!

Colored Milk Experiment

We tried out the milk and dish soap experiment I saw floating around the interwebs.  It is pretty cool!  My kids were definitely entertained and wanted to do it again and again.

Materials:

  • milk (whole or 2%)
  • Q-tips
  • dish soap
  • food coloring
  • dinner plate or bowl

Fill the plate or bowl with enough milk to cover the bottom.  Then drop in some food coloring.

milk and dishsoap

Dip a Q-tip in the food coloring to see what happens (nothing).  Then dip the Q-tip in dish soap and touch it to the food coloring.  Wow!  No need to stir, the colors will explode and mix on their own.

milk soap experiment

colored milk experiment

Ten Ways to Learn With Water Beads

10 Ways to Learn with Water BeadsWe recently discovered water beads.  You see, there is this thing called “Pinterest” that has all sorts of ideas for kids.  You should really check it out. 🙂  So I ordered some from Amazon (a 2-oz pack of Jelly Beadz), but I hear you get them even cheaper at dollar stores or floral supply stores.

Water beads are awesome.  They start out tiny and very hard, then you soak them in water for a few hours.  They soak up the water and become large and gelatinous.  That is a cool word.  But not cooler than water beads.  Seriously.  As fun as it is to feel then between your toes (try it!), you can also LEARN with them.  I know.  Mind blown.educational water beads

  1. Fine Motor Skills– They are SLIPPERY!  It takes a steady hand and pincer grip to pick them up.  Or try scooping them up one a time with a spoon.  We even tried chopsticks.  I think it is impossible.
  2. Colors– Sort by color into smaller containers.
  3. Language– Use adjectives to describe how water beads look, feel, etc.
  4. Letters- Use the water beads to “hide” plastic letters, then go on a letter hunt.
  5. Estimation– Choose a small container and estimate how many water beads will fill it up.  Then find out!
  6. Counting- Take turns grabbing handfuls and counting how many you can hold.
  7. Addition and Subtraction- Math is more fun when you have wiggly water beads to add together or take away.
  8. Patterns- Make a pattern with the colors.  It is difficult to make the beads line up, but that is part of the fun!
  9. Capacity– Kids will naturally want to fill up containers, so throw some measuring cups and let the kids explore.  They can see firsthand how many 1/4 cups it takes to fill up a cup.
  10. Hypothesize and Experiment- Do water beads bounce?  Can you squish them?  What happens when you put them in salt?

And speaking of experiments, Creekside Learning offers a free printable science observation worksheet that is perfect for older kids.

*Disclaimer- Water beads look a lot like candy.  I wouldn’t use them with babies or toddlers who like to put things in their mouths.

learning with water beads

 

Cardboard Tube Shape Painting

toilet paper roll painting

So easy.  Fold toilet paper tubes to make a triangle and square.  Lucky you, the circle is already done. 🙂  Then dip the ends in paint, stamp on paper, and you have a shape masterpiece!  This is a great craft for toddlers who haven’t mastered painting with a brush.  You can talk about shapes and colors while you create.

toilet paper roll shapes

You might want to give them one color at a time or else this happens…
paint circles

Paint Chip Color Match Game

I was inspired by all the very cool paint chip color match games on Pinterest like this one from One Little Project at a Time.   It is an easy and FREE way to teach colors and the clothes pin adds some fine motor practice, too.  Only, I didn’t have clothes pins.   And my paint chip samples had cut-out squares.

color game with paint chips

No problem.  This makes it even easier to make.  I just cut off the tops of the samples and then cut them apart.  Done.  Now to see if the pieces match,  you just slide it behind the open square.

matching paint chips to learn colors

Without the clothes pins it is also easier to store.  Just throw it all in a zip-lock bag and keep it in your purse for a waiting game at a restaurant.  Or use at the table while you are making dinner.  
paint chip preschool game

15 Ways to Learn with Playdough

Ah, playdough.  How many ways can we learn with you?  Let me count the ways.

  1. counting- Make and count objects.
  2. patterns- Make a pattern and see if your kiddo can continue it.playdough patterns
  3. addition and subtraction- Use playdough to illustrate story problems.  Make a nest with five eggs in it.  What happens when you add two more eggs?  How many do you have now?
  4. guess the animal- Make animals and take turns guessing what it is the other person made.guess the playdough animal
  5. pretend picnic/tea party- Make playdough food and good conversation during a pretend picnic.
  6. textures- Play around with different materials to make imprint textures.  Use lots of good adjectives to describe them.playdough textures
  7. write letters– Practice writing letters in playdough for a new handwriting experience.
  8. form letters- Make 3D letters to feel their shapes.playdough letters
  9. 2D shapes- Play “Name that shape!”  Count sides and corners of shapes.
  10. 3D shapes- Make and compare 2D and 3D shapes.2D and 3D playdough shapes
  11. colors- Let’s be honest.  Playdough mixing happens whether we want it to or not.  Make it a learning opportunity to make new colors.
  12. hide and seek-  Bury objects in have your child be the archaeologist or paleontologist.  Use toothpicks and paintbrushes to carefully uncover the buried toy.playdough dinsoaurs
  13. cutting- Practice cutting by rolling playdough into “snakes” and cutting them into little pieces.
  14. match the imprint- Make imprints using objects and then have your child match the object to the imprint.dinosaur imprint
  15. retell stories– Make characters to retell and act out books.  How about re-creating The Three Little Pigs?

What is your favorite way to learn with playdough?