Color Mixing with Kindergarten

Flow­ers by Gabriel
I love how K’s will intu­itively paint a line of blue across the top of the paper for the sky, because the sky is above them! (They usu­ally need to be taught to make the sky touch the ground. I save that les­son for later!)



I like to start off our first color mix­ing les­son in Kinder­garten by read­ing the story, “Mouse Paint” by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Then, after a quick demo, the kids push up their sleeves (lit­er­ally!) and dive right in!




Many Kinder­garten­ers don’t have prior expe­ri­ence with mix­ing col­ors, as their pre-school paints were often pre-mixed into the col­ors they needed. These kids love color and they are like “sponges” when it comes to
learn­ing about the color wheel!

I have found that the eas­i­est way for kids to learn color mix­ing is to be spe­cific about where to place their col­ors on the palette.

1. First draw six cir­cles, about 1″ in diam­e­ter, around a paper plate. (Spe­cial thanks to K teacher Hillary Dixon for com­ing up with this great idea!) Have an adult place a quarter-sized squirt of red, yel­low and blue (the pri­mary col­ors) in three of the cir­cles, leav­ing an empty cir­cle in between each one.

2. Then, teach this spe­cific way to clean your brush when chang­ing col­ors: Press the brush firmly on the bot­tom of the water con­tainer a few times, then blot it on a paper towel to get the extra water off. No swish­ing or tap­ping! (We had recently painted with water­color, so I had to explain that we were not adding water to the paint this time. We were only using it to clean the brush.)

3. Now, stu­dents will mix their col­ors! Grab a good amount from the yel­low pud­dle and place it in the cir­cle between the yel­low and the blue. Next, add a good amount of blue to this new pud­dle and mix the two together til you have a pud­dle of green. (If you do your color “grab­bing” from the edges of the pud­dles instead of the cen­ter, you won’t need to clean your brush to pick up the next color.)

4. Clean your brush and do this same thing with the blue and the red to make a pur­ple (or vio­let) puddle.

5. Now it’s time to paint! Paint three cir­cles using the pri­mary col­ors (red, yel­low and blue) just above the mid­dle of your paper. These will be the cen­ters of your flowers.

6. Then use green to paint stems, leaves and grass.

7. Next, use your sec­ondary col­ors (orange, pur­ple and green) to paint around your cen­ters again. Use a dif­fer­ent color to add petals. Fill your paper as much as pos­si­ble!
Flow­ers by Jason

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4 Responses to Color Mixing with Kindergarten

  1. christy December 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Thank you for post­ing this. I can’t wait to try it with my daughter’s Kinder­garten class.

  2. SUMIT GHOSH August 18, 2014 at 6:45 am #

    I want to know how will i make pur­ple colour in oil painting?

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