Fireflies: Color-blending Sun Catchers         

May 7, 2012

Color-blending Sun Catchers

Blending colors for preschoolers is a fascinating, almost magical activity.  Using songs, rhymes and jingles to help them remember basic ideas related to color adds to the fun! We use large hand movements and body motions in class to go along with our songs and rhymes.  Below is a fun rhyme to act out with your child and/or students while your blending project is drying if you wish, depending on your schedule and time allotted.  Repeated often, this cute little rhyme will solidify their knowledge of color blending and give them a firm foundation to build their color knowledge on in their budding artistic future!

Introducing color blending

Materials needed:

  • Sheets of clear acetate or overhead plastic sheets
  • Elmer's or other liquid glue
  • food color or washable paint in red, yellow, and blue primary colors & white
  • Q-tips
  • scissors 
  • hole punch 
  • colorful string/ribbon

        For teachers: Sharpie/permanent marker to put their name on the sheet

1.  Take a piece of acetate or overhead plastic sheet, one for each child, and divide into fourths so each child has four rectangles.  Put two puddles of glue on three of the rectangles and three puddles on the final rectangle.

2.  Add a few drops of food color or washable paint in each of the three puddles of glue as follows: one rectangle will have yellow and blue, another yellow and red, the next yellow and blue. The fourth and final rectangle will have all three primaries: red, yellow, and blue.  

3.  Next add a drop of white to the bottom of each rectangle.

3.  Each rectangle will blend together to make a new color: purple orange, green!  Make sure the children have plenty of Q-tips.  Instruct the children to mix the colors in each of the three rectangles with the two colored puddles so they combine to make the secondary colors. Then they may add white to change the value of the color, or how light or dark the color is.  The white also helps them see color a little better on the transparency. Allow the children to experiment and swish the colors around to their heart's content. 

4. Demonstrate in the fourth rectangle that contains all four primaries, by pulling some of each color toward the center and swirling them together.  It's magic!  Now let them try on their own.  This is a quick activity and as soon as they have played with the colors, be sure to put them to dry.  

5.  Now they are ready to learn their rhyme/jingle!  It's so silly; make up movements to go with it and your Preschooler/Kindergartner will be laughing as they follow along:

Blue and red, when they are wed, 
give purple blooms for all instead.  
Red and yellow, funny fellow, 
we now have wiggly orange jello!  
Yellow and blue, what can we do?  
 green meadows sway for me and you! 
Mix them all and take a bow...
It's muddy brown! 
We're done for now! 

by Laura Bird Miller

6.  After the plastic has dried,  you may wish to cut out the outer design of the dried color puddles so it makes an interesting shape or simply leave in the rectangular shapes.  Punch a hole in the "top" and hang separately or punch a hole in the top and bottom and string together like a sun-catcher mobile;  use colorful string or ribbon and hang them in your window!   
Be sure to keep these visual masterpieces for our upcoming 
Fireflies Presents family night. (Information coming soon)

Attention all Fireflies Blog readers in the Orlando, FL area!
For summer art camp information go to:  

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