3 Summer Science Activities to Teach Your Kids About Colors

This guest post has been submitted by Sarah Normandie


Teach your young child the science of creating colors with these fun activities that link art, science and literature all together. Your  “color scientist” will be having so much fun that he or she won’t even realize that there is learning involved!

 Activity 1: Popsicle Paint

Book to readWhy Did My Ice Pop Melt? By Susan Korman

 After Reading the book, Why Did My Ice Pop Melt? By Susan Korman, try this fun summer activity!

First, fill Popsicle molds with washable children’s tempura paint. Use primary colors: red, yellow, and blue, to prep your child for the color mixing activity. You can find the tempura paint in most craft stores and local department stores that sell children’s art supplies.

Next, freeze the paint in the mold. Then, head outdoors on a hot summer day to do some Popsicle painting! An easel would work great for this activity, or you can just hang your paper onto a tree.

Younger children will have an easier time building their fine motor skills by painting in this upright motion. Also, as the Popsicle paint melts, the paint will mix together. Discuss why it melted and predict which colors mixed together will create other colors.

 What Your Child Will Learn:

Your child will build their fine motor skills, and gain reasoning/prediction skills while engaged in scientific inquiry (discovering and predicting how the colors will mix). These skills will prepare your child for reading-as prediction skills are correlated with reading strength. This activity will also strengthen their problem solving skills.  Of course, freedom of expression in art and language development will also be fostered.

 Bonus Activity:  Frozen Ice Melt: Another color mixing/ice melting activity is the “Frozen Ice Color Melt”. Fill various containers with water colored by food coloring (remember, primary colors only!). Put the “colored ice” in an outdoor water table, bucket, or kiddie pool, and watch the water change color as it melts. Don’t forget to talk about your child’s predictions to promote scientific inquiry and language skills.

 Activity 2: Foot Painting

Book to read:   Color Dance by Ann Jonas

 What better way to learn about mixing colors than with some dancing! After reading Color Dance by Ann Jonas, bring out some large poster board or a roll of butcher paper, washable children’s paint (primary colors), a brush, and a bucket of water (to wash their feet).

Paint your child’s foot, or simply let them rub their feet in a small puddle of paint (don’t forget to hold their hand, it can get slippery!). Put on some fun summer music and let your child dance on the paper, painting their footprints as they dance! Wipe off their feet and use different colors. As they dance, the colors will mix!

 What Your Child Will Learn:

In addition to language development and science inquiry skills, your child will build their gross motor skills (jumping, walking, balancing, etc) and learn to express themselves through art and music.

 Activity 3: Water Spray Paint

Book to read: White Rabbit’s Color Book By Alan Baker

 White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker is one of my favorite color mixing books for young children. After reading the story, fill 3 spray bottles with a small amount of bottled watercolor paint (found in craft stores) and water. You can also simply fill with water colored by food coloring.

Tack a piece of white paper to a tree, and let your little one spray the paper with the primary colors. Discuss how the colors blend together as they spray. Little ones will find it easier to spray upright, and older children could spray paper laid on the ground or on a table. You could also use stencils, or various objects such as string, buttons, or stencils placed on the paper to make various designs.

 What Your Child Will Learn:

Your child will build their fine motor strength by using the spray bottles, gain problem solving, and scientific inquiry skills by mixing colors and noticing the patterns they create. Also, by discussing their art, your child will build their language development skills.

 Your child is sure to have a blast with these simple, inexpensive activities that will build their fine motor, gross motor, scientific inquiry, language development skills as well as encourage art expression — all while learning about the magic of color science! These activities are a great ways to turn a normal summer day into color mixing magic!

What ways do you have that your kids can have fun while experimenting with colors?


  1. Ana H. van Oordt says

    Hi Sarah, I like your creative Crafts and Activities, looks excellent because I see the kids are joyful!

    • Sarah Normandie says

      Thank you Ana! The kids do enjoy them, which is what is most important. I appreciate your kind words :)

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