Thursday, May 2, 2013

Preschool Color Exploration Activity

preschool color exploration activity
We had a hot day today so to soothe (but still stimulate) my students, I put out some liquid watercolors, eye droppers, and ice cube trays for some color exploration!

I always prep my work area before the children use it.  Clean up is easier and if it's messy it's no big deal.  (And when is it not messy?)  Butcher paper and newspaper are great table covers.

Materials Used:
Paper to cover work space
Colorations liquid watercolor (can be purchased here)
Eye droppers 
Ice cube trays
Cups to hold watercolors (you got me!  Mine are shot glasses)
Water as needed

I added extra water to the liquid watercolors; they are concentrated colors and last longer when stretched with water.  The watercolors are washable but the less liquid watercolor, the less visible staining on hands during play time.
The eye droppers promote fine motor coordination; the act of squeezing the top of the eye dropper to suck up the liquid helps children build up the muscles in their hands.  This is a forerunner to a proper pencil grip and anything to work tiny hand muscles is a plus!
(Think Playdough and cutting with scissors.)
The ice cube trays are great because of their compartmentalized squares keep the colors contained, make color mixing easy (each square can hold a different and newly created color), and they are child- sized in proportion (easy to hold, light in weight).
This activity has so many components and keeps the children engaged, it is a favorite in my class. Just look at all those color variations! Gorgeous! Try it out and let me know how it goes!

Ways to enhance this activity:

1. Freeze the mixed colors and use them for painting.
2. Use frozen cubes in a Science center and hypothesis how long they will take to melt. Use spray bottles filled with water to add more interaction.
3. Focus primarily on colors and introduce terms primary, secondary, and tertiary and reproduce them.   

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