Children of this age love to make their own colours and I find that they are already quite knowledgeable about how to make secondary colours. I like to add in the math equation element. For example they can record that red+blue=purple. I taught this lesson in a structured way last year, having the students build this equation. I think that I will be leaving this much more open ended this year, simply providing the circles and letting them choose which colour they want to make. I also want to add the shaving cream into the mixing centre this year, letting them drop colours on the shaving cream to make the secondary colours. There are tons of variations on this experience! I also am anxious to try the evaporated milk and colour experiment. I have read that if you drop the colours on evaporated milk they don't move until you add liquid soap. John and I will have to test drive it. That is one thing I have learned in my 20 years of teaching. Always try it first if you don't want disappointment!!!! Or be prepared to hypothesize as to why it didn't work. Here is a picture of the circle activity I did last year. They were making purple:
A colour study lends easily to graphing and to patterning. It is always fun to use the little colourful gummy bears or any other candy that comes in multicolours to graph. You just give them a handful of gummy bears and they have to graph what they have been given.
I always provide a sorting sheet so that they can stay organized. It is always tempting to eat them right away, but they are not allowed to eat until I check their work. The sheet at the top is the actual graph. I have them move the gummy bear right over to the sheet and then lift it up and colour. I have done the same activity with smarties at Halloween time. Always be aware of allergies! I had a peanut allergy student again this year and I always asked her mom to provide her item. That way I was sure that there wouldn't be any issues.
Planning for this year's colour theme .....
I will continue to use the Brown Bear text. I am going to ask my parents to send in some extra snack this year so that I can use some of the foods at the painting centre and the science centre. I want to add in some plant observations such as making white carnations turn colour and watching celery sticks absorb colour. The shaving cream will be a must and I will try to put a jelly cake out and let them drip colours onto that as well. I also want to provide some rainbows at my overhead projector centre. If you use a mirror and a clear bowl, you can project a rainbow onto the ceiling. I have done this in older grades and the result is very cool! Here is a link that explains the activity: Overhead projector rainbows
I have been trying to figure out what I should do with my drama centre that has to do with colour. I think I will just leave it as a kitchen and provide multicoloured clay etc and let them create foods or potions of that colour. My goal for this year is to try to run more with their interests and plan activities appropriately. The open-ended stuff is a little new for me, although last year it worked really well when the class showed me their interest in bugs and we went with it. If you have any colour activities that have been really successful in your ECE environment, please add it to the comment box. I am also going to put more colourful fabrics in my art centre. Sometimes they just need to sort them and look at them I find. Maybe they will find a use for all the marker tops I have been collecting. I just can't throw them out, but I haven't figured out what to do with them yet. I am excited already!