I kept seeing this Skittles experiment popping up on my Facebook feed. It was pretty simple, cheap, and quite entertaining.
We just arranged Skittles around the edge of a small white plate and then added some water, until it was touching all of the Skittles. Over a period of a few minutes, the colours of the Skittles slowly bled towards the centre of the plate.
Colour starting to bleed.
Closer to the centre.
If left long enough, the colours began to mix together. Most of our attempts ended with T1 or T2 shaking the plate and making the colours swirl together, or knocking the plate over completely. Luckily we had plenty of Skittles.
You can see from the pictures that the centre of our colour wheel wasn’t quite at the centre of the plate. I think this happened because we were using a plastic plate and it didn’t sit completely flat.
Almost meeting at the centre.
This was easily reproducible and the kids enjoyed doing it. They also ate the used Skittles once we were done!
A and I got talking about colours today, and how some colours can be mixed with others to make new colours. We spoke about the three primary colours, red, blue and yellow. I asked A what she thought would happen if we mixed two of the primary colours together. She wasn’t sure, so we went out to the kitchen and did a little experiment.
We used food colouring in water. I filled three small cups with water, and then let A use some plastic pipettes to squeeze some food colouring into the water. She placed red food colouring into one cup, blue into one and yellow into one. She mixed the colour into the water with a spoon.
Adding blue to yellow to make green.
Then to the cup containing yellow water, she added some blue colouring. She mixed it up and was delighted to see that she had made green water.
Before squirting some yellow dye into the red cup, A accurately predicted that it would make orange. She was very pleased to see that it was indeed orange once she’d mixed it in.
Adding red food colouring to the blue water.
Finally, to the blue cup A added some red food colouring. She had no idea what colour these two would produce, though she hazarded a guess of pink. As these colours are so dark, it was a little hard to see what had happened, until A lifted some of the water out of the cup with the spoon. She broke out with a huge grin when she saw the water had turned purple. It was very exciting for her.
This was a very quick and easy way of showing A how the primary colours mix to make the secondary colours. And it was fun 🙂
A’s cups of purple, green and orange water.
Painting a rainbow.
We pulled out the watercolour paints today to paint a rainbow picture. A likes to paint, and she likes dipping the paintbrush into the water, and then watching the water change colour as she uses more colours. She painted a beautiful rainbow using lots of bright colours, even two shades each of blue and green.
Painting rainbow hair.
Once her rainbow picture was finished, she painted a picture of what she would look like with rainbow coloured hair. I can imagine her coming home as a teenager with hair this colour….
Ladybird Baby Touch Rainbow illustrated by Fiona Land, big boardbook, published by Ladybird Books Ltd in 2013.
This is a big format boardbook that explores the colours of the rainbow from red through to purple. Each page focuses on one colour, with that colour’s name in big writing at the top. There is some rhyming text describing the illustrations, which are simple and easily recognisable for children. The pages are shaped on the edge, and get bigger as the book progresses. There are touchy feely bits on each page too, giving babies and toddlers the opportunity to feel didn’t textures.
The book was too big for Baby T (14 months) to hold, but he was happy to lay it on the floor and turn the pages. He explored the different textures on the pages, and was very taken with the orange cat’s soft tummy. He wanted to keep stroking the cat’s tummy over and over. My preschooler was with us while we were reading this book, and though it was really too young for her, she still enjoyed touching all the different textures and talking about what she could see. She liked the bumpy tortoise and the sparkly boat sail best.
I liked that each colour was represented with multiple illustrations in that colour. I could point them out to Baby T, naming them and repeating the colour’s name to reinforce his colour learning. This was a very good introduction to the basic colours for babies and toddlers.
The Rainbow by Flying Colours, paperback first reader, 16 pages, by Cengage Learning Australia, 2004.
This basic Flying Colours reader shows a boy and a girl painting a rainbow. The book is rated at level 1-2, so the language is very easy and repetitive, the text is large and the story extremely simple. The photos were bright and clear. My preschooler had no difficulties reading this book to me, and she seemed to enjoy the progression of painting the rainbow. This early reader is a great way to build reading confidence in young children just starting out on their reading journey.
Amazing Baby: Rainbow Fun text by Emily Hawkins with graphics by Mike Jolley and Emma Dodd, boardbook, published by Hardie Grant Egmont in 2008.
This sturdy boardbook introduces babies and toddlers to the colours of the rainbow, one by one. There was minimal text using simple words and rhymes along with simple black outlined graphics. Each double set of pages was a different colour, from red through purple. The pages are also die-cut with decreasing concentric circles in the middle of the pages, until it disappears for the last double page where the colours all come together to form a rainbow. The physical size of the book is also just right for toddlers to hold.
I borrowed this book from the library, and as soon as we got it home, Baby T (14 months) pulled it straight out and starting looking through it. He was fascinated with the circular holes in the pages, and kept putting his hands through them. He also loved the bright colours, and pointed to some of the graphics. I tried to hold it to read to him, but he kept snatching it off me so that he could turn the pages himself. I did read it to my preschooler as well, and she enjoyed it, though it was really a bit young for her. However, she used the simple layout of this book to practice naming the colours in both English and French. She also liked the holes in the pages. I was amazed with how much Baby T liked this book, he has come back to it a number of times, seeking it out from the pile of library books to look at. This book is a fun and engaging introduction to the colours for babies and toddlers.