mixing paint colors with kiddos

Painting themes at our house seem to back and forth between composition (what and why they are painting), and process {how they paint}. When the builder was small he seemed to mostly focus on the process. It took a while before he had explored enough to desire to paint something in particular. Gradually he built his narrative, and his younger siblings seem to be following in their development.

Lately I find the kiddos fascinated with color. What colors can make other colors, and how to darken and lighten each color when adding black and white.

A few years ago I had added to my paint collection and donned it to the kiddos for their studio time.

With all of our bulk buying, I thought it would be best {$ sense and environmentally}, to purchase the colors we use most in gallon size. They come with handy-dandy pumps and are way easy to use.

Now when I get their colors ready, I give them primary colors of blue, red, and yellow, some white, and then ask them what colors they would like to make. They plan and mix the colors and take them to the easel. They are like little color scientists, calculating how much white will make “Cinderella blue” and how much red is needed for an “Amberlie pink”. The dancer and her friend came up with a new concoction of pink when painting together last week.

A few days ago we invited some friends to paint with us for MLK Day. Ivana’s boys are the same age as our kiddos, amazingly enough. All 6 of them get along beautifully and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know them better.

We pulled out the leaves on our Danish table that we luv {thanks to Jacob & Jessi for recommending it so long ago!} And I made a palate for each kiddo. When painting at the table I use paper plates, let leftover paint dry when kiddos are done, and use them over and over again.

Daniel was especially fascinated with the colors he could create. His favorite was the “army green” using yellow and black. For easiest mixing, place colors next to each other that will create a familiar color for your kiddos:

• blue next to red for purple,
• yellow on the other side of the red to make orange,
• then blue next to the yellow so that they can make green…

…you get the idea. Don’t be afraid to let them put them in another order at the same time. Let them organize where they want their colors and see where their creativity will take them!

What color concoctions are your kiddos’ favs? Do they name them as ours do?

6 thoughts on “mixing paint colors with kiddos

  1. My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE painting. I find that they are still in the “process” phase, ya know, lots of color and not a lot else. I love it. Henry is starting to draw actual shapes though, so I’m assuming it will follow in his paintings.

    • Oh, I’m so glad Morgan. And isn’t the color patch phase just charming?! I love to watch the dancer squeal with excitement and share her latest fav stroke. 🙂

  2. Wonderful ideas! Even for a grandmother. I hope to be able to spend this type of quality time with my grandkids in the near future (I’m moving to be closer). We could do this activity. Thanks for the suggestion of placing the paint on the plates. It would make all the difference. And naming the color creations would be “the bomb”. Thanks!

    I’m here from MMB Post of the Week (#26 The Man of My Dreams) http://husbandsdeepestdesire.blogspot.com/2011/01/man-of-my-dreams.html

    • Sharon, that’s wonderful that you’re moving closer to your grandkiddos…they will love spending more time with you…painting and naming their colors. 🙂 And thanks for your link! Have a wonderful weekend and keep me posted on the painting.

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