By Jeanie McLoughlin
Through prediction and experimentation your child mixes the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) to make secondary colors (orange, purple and green).
Lay out all the containers and place one paintbrush next to each container. Put about one tablespoon of each paint color into its own container. Name the colors with your child (red, yellow and blue). Explain that each color will have its own paintbrush. Ask your child "What do you think will happen if you mix two of the colors?" Have her choose two and mix a small amount of each into an empty container. Ask, "What happened?" "What is the new color?" On paper have her paint the primary and secondary colors. For example, a blue line, a red line and then a purple line (the secondary color). Continue this process until you have six paint colors. Have your child make a painting with the six colors.
Younger children will tend to mix several colors - mixing being the more interesting activity. Older children will tend to have more patience and interest in the process described here. Help your child to answer her own questions by encouraging experimentation, making predictions and then telling you what she has learned.
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