Here’s a color-mixing project that is quick, easy, and inexpensive. Fill three clear containers (I used baby food jars) about 2/3 full with water colored blue, yellow, and red with liquid or powder water colors, or with plain old food coloring. Provide a few extra empty containers for mixing. Place all of these on a towel-lined tray, or in a sensory table. Provide a baster or dropper for transferring water, or provide several different instruments of varying sizes for experimenting. Children will be absorbed in this activity, transferring water and creating new colors, while building a bundle of developmental skills!
Mixing colors is a cognitive, as well as creative, activity. Moving the water with a variety of tools is a provides small motor strength, hand eye coordination, and an exposure to basic science tools. As the amount of water in each container changes, or as tools with varying capacities are used, discussion can be guided toward math concepts such as “less than” and “more than”. To support literacy, use this activity in conjunction with a great color mixing book, such as Mouse Paint, by Ellen Stoll Walsh.