This is a fun activity that my mother-in-law does with the kids.  Perfect for a rainy day inside or on your picnic table in the sun.  Use the primary colours so you can see what happens when colours mix!


Colour Exploration: Supplies from

  • Wax paper
  • Tape
  • Plastic eye droppers (these can be purchased inexpensively at a drugstore) or pipets
  • Straws
  • Food colouring (red, yellow & blue)
  • 3 small containers or more if you are working with a large table and/or many children
  • Water
  • Smocks
  • Cloths to clean up any spills


  • Prior to staring we read these books:  The Great Blueness and Other Predicaments (Arnold Lobel) & The Color of Things (Vivienne Shalom) to get us thinking about colour.
  • Tape down (overlapping them) strips of wax paper to cover your table.
  • Don your smocks.
  • Dilute food colouring with a bit of water, making three small containers of red, yellow and blue.

Colour Exploration: Water from

Colour Exploration: Add food colouring from

  • Put droplets of the coloured water onto the wax paper and have fun mixing the colours.  (e.g., blow the drops towards each other with the straws, create images with the water drops, race each other blowing droplets across the table).


Colour Exploration: Playing with Droplets from

Colour Exploration: Mixing Droplets from

Colour Exploration from

Peacock Sun Catcher from


  • Developing a beginning understanding of colour theory .

Safety Notes

  • Some tape may leave a residue when removed so you might want to use a picnic table or craft table.
  • Food colouring may leave a stain, so keep this in mind in regards to the surface you work on, cloths you use for clean-up etc.
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