Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Colorful Learning

Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.  ~ Claude Monet

Learning colors
Identifying colors by their shades and names will advance children’s development as learners and artists.  Being able to name a color will help them make sense of their world and build language skills, too.  Here are a few activities to teach young children about colors.

Preschool-aged children
Here's a crayon-tastic activity for younger children.  Find a picture of a basic color wheel online or create your own: using a paper plate, divide it into 4-6 sections and color each section in one color.  Place the used crayons in a bag or box to mix the up.  Then ask the child which crayon made each color and match it to the appropriately colored area.  Extend this activity by walking around the house with the crayons and matching the colors to objects you find together.  Consider taking the color wheel on your next trip to the park, grocery store, or library and locate objects that match the appropriate color.

School aged-children
For this mauve-alous activity, you will need different colors of food coloring, at least 6 empty plastic water bottles or see-through drinking cups, and water.  Fill the containers them with the same amount of water and then add the same amount of red food coloring drops to each.  Set one pure red water solution aside.  In the second container, add yellow food coloring drops -- how many yellow drops will it take for the color to change?  Set that one aside and add a few more yellow drops to the red-colored water.  Set this newly-created color aside and add a few more yellow drops to another container of red water.  Repeat the process and arrange the colored waters in a row from lightest to darkest colors.  What should the name of each color be? 

Enjoy this color experiment again and again using yellow or blue as the starting color and red as the added color.


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