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Preschool Color Activities
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Colors
Andrea O. encourages discussion and color identification during this activity.

Materials: Paper, marker, scissors and magazines.

Description: On a sheet of paper write down the words the children brainstorm 
that are related to a given color (i.e.: blue). They might think of words such as: sky, blueberries, jeans, etc. Let students look through magazines and cut out pictures they find that are blue and glue the pictures on a piece of paper. 

Extension: Children may wish to dictate a story about their pictures. Teachers can write the story on their papers or just write the color word with a marker of the same color.

Color Matching Ideas
Sue Y. discusses how teachers can make color matching materials to promote color recognition and identification.

Materials: File folders, all different colors of construction paper, contact paper and
 velcro if desired.

Description: Cut circles out of different colored construction paper and glue them to the file folders.  Under each color write the color name, under the blue circle write 'Blue'.  Then do the same for the other colors.  This way the children learn the spelling of the color words. Next, laminate the folder. Make one large circle of each color and laminate that also and cut it into little circles.  Now the kids can match the colors.

For older youngsters teachers can also ask them how to spell the color and if they are learning their letters that gives them feedback on what they have learned. 

Teachers can also put velcro on the folder and colored circles and children can push it on the velcro so that the colors don't fall off.

Another thing you can do is give children M & M's and they can match the different
M & M's to the color, count them and eat them. Same with fruit loops they have colors. This gives them visual and hands on experiences. 

Comments: You can also do this with shapes, you can make different shapes and 
label them.

Science: Mini Fireworks!
Young children use observation skills during this color activity from Debbie.

Materials: Hot water from tap, warm water, cold tap water and freezer water.

Description: Get 4 glasses (make sure you can use them in the freezer). Pour water into one and put it into the freezer (for about 2 hours). Pour water into another from the cold tap. Pour water into the third glass from the warm tap and put water from the hot tap into the fourth glass. After the water in freezer is very cold drop food coloring into each glass, "What happens?" Encourage the kids to observe the difference in each glass 

Comments: Very good to use when working with color, hot and cold science activities.

Lollipop Game
Color recognition and following directions are skills children use during this game from
Susan S.

Materials: Five different colors of construction paper, craft sticks, scissors and tape.

Description: In advance teachers cut circles out of five different colors of construction paper. Tape the circles onto craft sticks and give one craft stick lollipop to each child. Call out the name of a color and have the children with this color either stand or sit or skip etc. around the classroom. Continue with other colors. Teachers can also use color words on plain paper circles for older children. Don't forget to discuss the circle shape.
 

Color Game & Song
Help youngsters identify colors with this fun song and game from Lori.

Materials: Construction paper of all different colors.  I cut out shapes and laminated the shapes. You can also do this activity with the alphabet and shapes. 

Description: Give each child a different color, if you have many children in your class you can give more than one child the same color. Next, sit in a circle. Then, sing this song (use your own tune).

 Red, Red, Red, Red,
 If you have red stand up, stand up,
 Jump up and down, turn yourself around,
 Red won't you please sit down, sit down,
 Red won't you please sit down.
 (Then, repeat with a different color)
When you are singing this, it is easier to have the child or children get up and go to the middle of the circle, so that there are no injuries. Also when you say the color, the teacher can hold up the color.

Exploring With Paint
Tina encourages children to discover tone through their exploration and manipulation 
of the paint on the paper with their fingers.

Materials: Newspaper, large white pieces of paper, red, blue, yellow and white paint.

Description: The children are finger painting with the 3 primary colors. As the children are painting the teacher puts blobs of white paint on their artwork, as the children blend the white paint into their artwork the teacher asks appropriate questions about what is happening to the colors already on their page.

Wet Paper Painting
Children observe swirling colors mix in this activity by Debbie.

Materials: Butcher paper, water, spray bottle and powder tempera paint.

Description: Give each child a piece of paper and the spray bottle filled with water. Have them spray the paper until completely wet. Now, sprinkle paint on top of the water. Watch as the paint swirls and makes designs. You can use several colors and watch them mix and swirl around each other. You can also spray more water on top. Let them dry overnight.

Science: Colored Water Mixing
Children identify colors, identify light and dark colors, identify various shades of the same color and use primary colors to make secondary colors during this activity from
Shelli A.

Materials: 3 clear cups half way filled; one with red water, one with blue water and one with yellow water, 3 eye droppers, one for each color, white ice tray or any other white container with multiple compartments.

Description: Place 3 cups (red water, yellow water, blue water) on a tray with 
an eye dropper in each cup. Teach your students how to use the eye droppers. 
Talk to them about mixing colors. Next, give them the opportunity to mix colors using 
the colored water and eyedroppers in the white ice tray. Talk about the various colors they were able to mix, the various shades of the same color etc.

Game: Color Bingo
Andrea O. suggests this teacher made or purchased game for teaching colors to young children

Materials: Bingo game board with color squares, i.e. red, orange, yellow, blue, green and purple etc., markers such as pieces of construction paper or buttons, Pieces of colored paper to represent each color on the game board.

Description: Hold up one colored paper at a time.  The children use their markers 
to cover the corresponding color on their game board.  Continue holding up colored 
paper until a bingo is made.

Comments: We had a lot of fun playing this game.  Not only do the kids learn 
their colors, they also learn the concept of the game "BINGO"!

Sensory Colors
Young children use their feet to create secondary colors during this sensory activity by Tracey P.

Materials: Washable paint (blue, yellow, red) ,dishwashing liquid, towel, soapy water in a large tub, long sheets of paper and masking tape.

Description: First read the book Mouse Paint.  Then tell your kids that they 
will become little mice too!  Tape a piece of paper on the floor for each child. 
Mix each primary color with a little bit of dish soap for easy clean up.  Have 
the children take off their shoes and socks and stand on their paper.  Squirt 2 
different colors on the paper about 2 feet apart and let them walk in the paint 
and all over the paper.  They will have 3 different colors of footprints.  Have 
a towel ready to wash those mouse feet!

Comments: My kids loved this activity.  We hung the papers on the wall to dry. Tell parents about this activity a few days in advance.

Lots of books about color are listed in Preschool Books Listed by Themes.

Game:  Colors
Andrea O. obtained paint sample cards and developed this color recognition game.

Materials: Paint color sample cards and construction paper scraps.

Description: Obtain enough paint sample cards for each child to have at least 3 
cards, each a different color. Hold up the construction paper scraps one at a time.  The children with that color stand up with their card and shout out the name of the color they are holding.  Repeat this for each of the colors.

Comments: This game is a lot of fun.  After I went through each of the colors 
several times the kids wanted to play the game on their own without the help of 
a teacher.

Game:  "Go Fishing"
Preschoolers learn colors, follow directions and use eye hand coordination skills during
this color game from Debbie.

Materials: Popsicle sticks, yarn, magnets, paper clips and colored construction paper.

Description: Give each child a fishing rod which you have made in advance from a popsicle stick. The fishing rod has yarn tied to it with a magnet tied to the end.  Cut fish out of different colored construction paper.  Fasten a paper clip to each fish.  Put  all the fish in the middle of the "circle" pond and have the children stand 
around and fish.

When all the fish have been caught, have all the children holding "red" fish stand up.  Have all the children holding "blue" wave their fish. Have all the children holding "yellow" fish jump up and down and so on until you have named all the colors of fish.

Paint Butterfly
This simple activity by Sandra V. helps teach children about color mixing and symmetry.

Materials: Paint papers, paint of different colors, diluted half with water.

Description: Fold the paper in two. Unfold to put on the paint. Ask children to put drops of paint everywhere on one side of the paper, near the center if possible.
Fold again then children put their hands on the paper to place paint everywhere. Open again and watch the wonderful butterfly.

Science: Mixing Colors
Anne contributes this activity saying, "Discovery bottles make a great science experiment."

Materials: Clear plastic bottles, water, food coloring and colored lamp oil.

Description: Fill a clear plastic bottle with equal parts of colored water and 
colored lamp oil.  Be sure the colors of the water and the oil are different 
primary colors that will blend into a new color.  Hot glue the lid onto the 
bottle.  Make several discovery bottles with different colors.  Ask child to 
choose a bottle and identify the two different colors.  Then have the child 
shake the bottle vigorously and observe the changes that happen.

Mixing Colors
Here is an easy and not so messy way to teach about color mixing from Tracy.

Materials: White paper or paper plates, primary colors paint in bottles, and plastic wrap (handi-wrap).

Description: Put primary colors on the student's paper in little puddles, about 
the size of a half dollar.  Next, put handi-wrap on top of the paint. The students will then mix the colors together with their fingers on top of the handi-wrap, as if finger painting. Students love creating new colors!

Tissue & Water Transfer
Youngsters explore and observe the effects of water on colored tissue paper in this activity by Michelle B.

Materials: White roll paper, colored tissue paper, squirt bottles filled with water, sheet of plastic and plastic gloves.

 Description: Take a long sheet of white roll paper.  This can be cut into a shape if desired.  Lay the paper out on the floor or large table.  Have children lay different colored sheets of tissue paper over the roll paper.  Tissue paper can and should overlap. 

Next, ask the children to spray water over the tissue paper, until saturated.  When children are finished squirting water, lift the tissue paper off (wearing some kind of gloves). 

Discuss how the color got onto the paper and the way the different colors mixed.

color mixing activity Color Mixing:  Flower
Barbara uses this activity when helping preschoolers mix 2 or more paints to make another color.

Materials: 2 or more colors of paint, paper plate, green construction paper.

Description:
Let the child pick two colors of paint.  Put a glob of each color
on the paper plate.  Let them rub the paint all around on the plate, either with their hands or paint brushes. Then let dry. You can talk about the two colors you started with and what color you end up with.

Out of green construction paper make a stem to glue to the plate.  You can cut out the stem or let the children cut it out.

Shaving Cream Fingerpainting
Barb K. says. "When studying colors you can fingerpaint with shaving cream.

Materials: Shaving cream, food coloring, tablecloth and paper.

Description:
As you are studying colors for the end project you can make a wide 
variety of colors.  Quiz the children to what colors they are.  Have fun finger painting.

Comments: If you do it with younger children make sure they do not eat it or get the cream in their eyes (it stings). A non stinging substitute is whipped cream.

color blending Colored Eggs
Tracy P. helps preschoolers see how colors blend and change when they are mixed.

Materials: White construction paper in the shape of an egg, karo syrup, smocks,  q-tips, a paint brush to spread the karo syrup and different colors of food color

Description:
Set out containers of different colors of food color with a Q-tip or two in each container.  Spread a thin coat of karo syrup on the egg shape.  Have children put the different colors using Q-tips on the paper.  Watch as the colors spread and blend into each other.  It will have a tie-dye effect.  Lay flat to dry. 

Comments: The thin coat allows for a fast drying process.  The thicker the coat  the longer it takes to dry.  Hang when finished drying.

Egg Match Idea
Shirley A. shares this idea that encourages youngsters to match the edges of puzzle pieces.

Materials:
Various Colored Construction Paper
 Egg Patterns
Scissors

Description:
Teacher will pre-cut the egg patterns by cutting them in half but 
using different patterns.  Mix the egg pieces up and give them to the student(s).  Let them match the egg pieces together.

Fascination Bottles
Ernel T. creates an interesting observation item with these bottles.

Materials: A one liter bottle, karo syrup, confetti, and food coloring.

Description:
Fill the bottle 3/4 full with water, add a tsp. on karo syrup, confetti and food coloring to match theme.  Hot Glue the lid.

Comments: Adding glitter adds luster.

Game: Color Fishes
Young children enjoy themselves as they learn their colors with this game contributed by Ernel T.

Materials:
Colored construction paper cut into fish shapes, a clothes pin, bucket, and a fishing pole. 

Description:
Have the children review a variety of colors.  Put the colored fish 
into a bucket.  Give a child the fishing pole.  Have the children sing"_____ is  going fishing, going fishing,  ______ caught a _________ (color of) fish".

Comments: the kids look forward to playing this game.

Fish, Fish, Fish!
Julisa N. has the following objectives when using this activity:

 1. To develop an understanding of classification by the different 
     colors (red, blue, and yellow).
 2. To support matching skills by colors.
Materials:
Plastic fish.  Three different colors. (Red , blue, yellow)

Description:
Gather 2 to 3 children around a table.  Present 2 to 3 of the color 
fish to the children.  Then, present another fish of a different color.  Classify the fish by color.  Ask the child to match the fishes by color.

mixing colors Coffee Filter Sun Catchers
Lavonda H. encourages preschoolers to mix colors during this early childhood art activity.

Materials: Coffee filters, hole punch, food coloring, water, small bowls, yarn.

Description:
Teachers take the small bowls and place a little water in each.  Place a small amount of food coloring in each to make the desired color your class wants to use.  Next take the coffee filters and fold them in half, then again in half, then again in half, until you have a small thin v-shape. 

Next let the children dip small areas of the filter in the color bowls. They need to only dip it for a second because the filter will soak it up fast.  After they dip it in all the colors they want, unfold them to see how  wonderfully the colors mix.

Talk about the patterns the colors made.  Let them dry, then punch a hole in them and tie with yarn.  Hang them in the sunlight to watch how the sunshine bounces off to make bright beautiful colors.

Stained Glass Windows
Lavonda H. uses old crayons to acquaint young children with the effects of mixing various colors.

Materials: Wax paper, crayon shavings, hole punch, yarn., Teacher uses a Warm Iron (not to be handled by young children).

Description:
Have each child take a piece of wax paper and sprinkle it with
crayon shavings.  Fold over the wax paper and then run the warm iron over the entire piece of wax paper.  The shavings will melt and mix, making the colors more beautiful, and this will  seal the edges of the wax paper as well. 

Let it cool, punch a hole in the top and run yarn through it and hang it in  front of a window for the sun to shine on it to see the beautiful stained window. 

Gayle's Hint: If you have a plastic food grater available, children can grate old crayons to create the shavings. Older children can trace shapes or a butterfly etc. on the finished wax paper before punching a hole for hanging.

Stir up "A Purple Cow"
Children have fun learning the color purple with this delicious drink.

You will need: Vanilla ice cream, grape soda, spoons, clear (heavy) plastic glasses.

Ingredients:
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 glass grape soda

Tell youngsters that they will be making a drink called "Purple Cow".  Discuss the recipe and what the final product will be. Show them the ingredients that will be used. Then say, " Let's see what happens when we mix the ingredients".  As children stir, talk about the color. Enjoy drinking the treat!

As youngsters mix their drinks, say or sing:
I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one. 
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.


color activity Coloring with Salt
Jayne S. helps young children develop small motor skills and creative expression with this early childhood activity.

Materials: Crayons, salt, water, paint brushes.

Description: Have the children draw a picture. Have a lot of salt and a little bit of water ready. After the picture is done the children paint over the picture. 

Comments: The children really enjoyed it. I had a hard time getting them not to rush to the salt!

Feather Painting
Wanda L. contributes this preschool activity that encourages young children to experiment with color and the variety of textures that can be achieved by using feathers.

Materials: Feathers, paint (assorted colors), and assorted paper.

Description:
Place feathers, paper and paint on the art table.  Let the kids  experiment with different paints, feathers and types of paper.

Color Wall Game
Teresa R. teaches colors with this early childhood activity.

Materials:
Contact paper (clear), commercially made or teacher made outlines of  crayons in basic colors (2 sets), velcro closures, zip loc bag, scissors, a wall with floor space in front of it.

Description:
You make this by cutting out the crayons .Then covering with contact 
paper (clear). Next place one set on the wall (I did this by covering    the crayons with the contact paper directly on to the wall.)  The velcro is put on the other set. 

To play the game a child or a group of children can take turns matching the colors to the correct color on the wall.  When done the set of game pieces can be placed in  the ziploc bag for safe keeping.

Comments: I did this activity with two year olds and they really have learned a lot easier . They also enjoyed it!

color and music Musical Colors
Kim C. helps preschoolers develop color recognition skills with this activity.

Materials:
Different color construction paper, music.

Description:
Put the different colored paper in a circle on the floor.  Turn on  music and have children walk in a circle, turn music off, have each child name their color.  (Can be used with shapes also).

    Song: Colors
    (Improvise a tune)
                  What colors do I see?
                  Oh, come and look with me.
                  Purple plum, red tomatoes,
                  Yellow corn, and brown potatoes.
                  Orange  oranges, lettuce green,
                  Many colors can be seen.
                  Food is yummy -- when I eat,
                  Colors make it such a treat!
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