We Play With Colours

by Deb on May 31, 2010

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We’ve been playing with colours for quite a while now.  We started splitting them with chromatography, now we’ve been combining them.  For some strange reason we don’t seem to have any red in our house, but blue, green, yellow and white work well.  This is great for older babies on up, it can be combined with all sorts of craft activities.  We’ve been:

Painting –

Blue and Yellow

Both of these have white mixed into them,


then mixed together,

Yellow and Green

and mixed back into the yellow.

Dying Milk –

A little bit of milk in the bottom of a bowl,

a few drops of food colouring,

Blue and Green

a toothpick, and your toddler may be Picasso.

Cooking –

We made a couple of fantastic marbled cakes.  Make up a vanilla cake, divide it into different bowls and add a few drops of food colourings, mix.  Then dollop it into the cake tray and swirl it around with toothpicks.  Make up some bright blue or green icing and you have a gorgeous cake!  Even the 2 year old had a wonderful time and could manage this.

Cellophane –

We’ve spent a lot of time holding this over our eyes or putting it over paper

and using it to make beautiful butterflies.

Cellophane Butterflies

How do you play with colour?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Marita May 31, 2010 at 5:03 pm

We ran out of yellow paint recently and Annie was devastated as she had been painting a Pikachu paper mache and needed lots of yellow.

I was inspired to mix up a bit of flour and water with our yellow food colouring and ta-da yellow paint 🙂 Annie was very impressed at my skills.


Kristine May 31, 2010 at 9:20 pm

This is great. We did a similar one to the milk marbling but used a cornflour solution then took prints. The idea was from http://the-joy-of-my-life-and-other-things.blogspot.com/. My daughter loves painting with white or black as one of her colours.
PS I was thinking of you last week. We just joined our states science museum and had our first visit. I was thinking now how would Deb ask questions to get my daughter thinking.


Deb June 2, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I’m definitely going to try this, I have some cornflour.

And thank you! Scitech is so much fun 😀


Kathy June 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Fantastic! We did marbling on paper towels with food dye in water last week – a good old Playschool trick. There are some brilliant ideas here, I will have to give some a try with my kids.


katepickle June 1, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Oh that reminds me… must hunt down some cellophane for a bit of a play, always loads of fun. Painting in our house almost always turns into colour mixing! So many great ideas.. thanks for sharing


Alissa June 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I have never thought to dye milk before, great idea. Cellophane is so great for experimenting with colour isn’t it.
From Alissa@ Excuse Me Mrs.C!
.-= Alissa´s last blog ..Multiple Intelligences =-.


Blond Duck June 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Popped in from Lady Bloggers to say hi!


Becky June 1, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Ohh love this. Will certainly have to try the marble cake idea as my girls love cooking and working with colour!
.-= Becky´s last blog ..To Unschool? So many questions… =-.


Hear Mum Roar June 1, 2010 at 8:40 pm

My son has been experimenting with colour quite often lately, too. It’s so exciting for them, isn’t it?
.-= Hear Mum Roar´s last blog ..Time to rediscover the old me =-.


Julie June 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Great ideas. I hadn’t seen the food dye and milk idea either. Lots of inspiration here.


Bec June 1, 2010 at 9:00 pm

What beautiful butterflies!
My Lilly would love to make some of those, thanks for the idea.


joyce:waddleeahchaa.com June 2, 2010 at 6:41 am

My favorite place to expose children to different colors is outside. Spring provides more colors then we can even begin to talk about. The children go and collect leaves and then we bring them back to the classroom and discuss that all the leaves are green but different shades of green. You can really see their wheels turning.
.-= joyce:waddleeahchaa.com´s last blog ..What Pets Teach Us: Book of the Week (GIVEAWAY) =-.


Deb June 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm

I love that as a way of bringing different shades into it. And then you can look at what is green and what is yellow, where it really comes down to opinion.


Erin June 2, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I love playing with colours. Have you tried adding a drop of detergent to the milk? The detergent reacts with the fat in the milk (have to use full fat milk) and swirls the milk all by itself and mixes the colours while you watch. It’s amazing.
.-= Erin´s last blog ..Endings =-.


Deb June 2, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I definitely need to try that! It sounds like great fun, and an excuse to buy some more colourings. I think making our own dyes will be the next step, the girls loved using petals at Easter.


Miss Carly June 4, 2010 at 10:15 am

The milk is something that I did in high school and loved it!

I love using a variety of colours and setting a task to make a colour – we did this for our Maths, Science and Technology unit and had to make green. Did you know that you can use almost any colour to make green? And that as long as you generally have the base colour there you are able to change the tone by adding a number of different colours?

Also, I love to read the book – Smidge & Brown Bear, Brown Bear for colour awareness. Smidge actually changes colours when he eats lollies so it is a combination of the lollies that make him change 😉

There are so many other ideas that I haven’t touched on, and I am sure that there are millions of others out there too!
.-= Miss Carly´s last blog ..Sleeping Tips =-.


Christie - Childhood 101 June 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Your milk colour mixing reminds me of my ‘Dorothy the Dinosaur Rosie Tea’ trick where I add a few drops of pink colouring to Immy’s milk to make it more fun 🙂
What great ideas. I too must seek out some cellophane for colour mixing fun.
.-= Christie – Childhood 101´s last blog ..Sponsor Spotlight: Dress Ups =-.


Barry March 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Have you tried adding a drop of dishwashing detergent to the milk/food colouring experiment? The detergent causes a reaction with the fats in the milk and cause it so start swirling around – very cool! 🙂


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