Color Mixing is Not Always About Color

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Though incredibly simple, color-mixing is one of my favorite experiences to offer infants and toddlers.

 

Water in itself is wonderful because it is such a basic element that children are familiar with, yet are still fascinated by – I assume for its complex properties and seemingly unpredictable nature when splashed or spilled.

 

Even though this is color mixing, I do not see this as a lesson about learning colors. As I observed the girls playing, it became clear to me that their play was largely about consequence. That is, they were using materials as if they were asking themselves the question, “What will happen if …?”

 

This is not a novel activity for my daughters and is, in fact, something we have done a couple of times before. Even though this was a repeated experience, I did not make much effort to add a lot of novelty. As I’ve mentioned before, I intentionally repeat art experiences and activities, and this was no exception.

 

The one element I did change was to use red and blue watercolor instead of our usual yellow and blue experiences.

 

 

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Each used the same squeeze bottles in ways which challenged them. Though both girls squeezed, Moon was focused on exploring concepts of pressure while Greysen was interested in quantity and how that correlated to the measurements on the outside of the bottle.

 

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The results were more varied than I expected.

 

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The next time we mix colors, we will use jars so that we can save the colors they mix to paint with.  We ended up with a few random artifacts in the colors so we didn’t save any of them for later use this time.

 

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