We studied rainbows in science last weeks (you can see our fun experiment here), so I decided that painting a color wheel would be the perfect art expansion. It’s easy, fun, and a basic art lesson that the kids can use for life.
Knowing which colors are primary and which are secondary is an important art lesson. This knowledge is the foundation for mixing colors and matching colors correctly, but even many adults still find this basic lesson confusing. We set out to learn it early and with a hands-on project to help the kids remember what they had learned.
To set up our art project, we used:
- White Paper Plates
- Blue, Yellow, and Red Paint
- Paint Brushes
We headed outside with our supplies to make a big mess. I dressed the kids in play clothes just in case the paint stained. (I love it when I actually think to plan ahead.)
I divided the paper plates into 6 sections using a pencil. Then I squirted a little bit of each of the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) in the triangles on the plates, keeping one section white in between each. We each used a paintbrush and passed it around so that we didn’t have to clean in between colors.
Then, we squirted a little bit of each color between in the white spaces to make the corresponding secondary color. (Blue + Yellow = Green, Yellow + Red = Orange, and Red + Blue = Purple). In an ideal world, it would take an equal amount of each primary color to make the secondary but reality is that paints are rarely exact primary colors. I used the stronger colors carefully to make sure that our mixtures came out okay. We just mixed the paints right there on the plates. It was a little messy, but involved less clean-up (hooray for that!)
Then my kids let their creativity loose and ruined our creations. I’m just kidding, they didn’t ruin the color wheels, but they definitely added a kid-friendly twist. My 6-year-old mixed the middle of his colors all together which made brown (another color lesson). My 3-year-old’s color wheel ended up being a more chaotic spread of colors, but they were all still there! It’s all okay, as I like to remind myself.
I also pointed out how the color wheel can be used to find complementary colors (colors that are across the wheel from each other.) Of course, my preschooler’s wheel doesn’t demonstrate this as clearly, but isn’t it beautiful?
We quickly headed inside to wash up with a big reminder not to touch anything first. If you ever come over and find a big blob of paint on the couch, you will have a good idea what happened.
The next day, we cut our wheels apart to make these lovely “Egyptian” necklaces. Okay, so that’s a stretch but the shape does look Egyptian.
See more of our expansion activities to go with Sonlight Core A here.
Hi! I’m Bethany. I’m a mom, weekly Greenville News columnist, and co-owner of Kidding Around Greenville SC. Welcome to my homeschooling blog No Twiddle Twaddle, all about simple ideas for learning at home. You can join me on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest (I’m a BHG.com Pinner Pro!). Subscribe via email to get my updates straight in your inbox.