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Fun Preschool Activity — Changing Colors

Teaching Objective/Before You Begin

Before you experiment with Changing Colors tell your child that you are going to do a scientific activity today. Explain that you will write down in the notebook what you do with the water, oil and colors, and any observations she makes about the process will help you both remember what happens. As you do the activity question her about what she thinks will happen as you step by step add the different colors to the water and oil. Then be sure to record her exact words as she determines what actually does happen. This activity will help her to think like a scientist. She will hypothesize, observe, and finally draw conclusions about colors. You might let her use tempera paint or water colors to see if the mixture of colors always produce the same results. Not only will she begin to think like a scientist, but she will learn that the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue are the basic colors from which all others are formed. Be sure to keep the notebook so that you can record other scientific studies you may decide to do. Write on the cover of her notebook something like MY BOOK OF EXPERIMENTS by (her name).

Materials Needed

  • A clear plastic jar with a tight cover
  • Water
  • Red, blue and yellow food coloring
  • Cooking oil
  • A notebook and pencil

Activity Steps

  1. Put equal parts water and cooking oil in the jar.
  2. Add a few drops of one of the red food color.
  3. Cover the jar and shake it to watch the oil, water and red color mix. See what happens when the oil and water separate.
  4. Open the jar and add yellow to the mixture.
  5. Make notes in the notebook as your preschooler tells you what he sees.
  6. Experiment with other colors after washing out the jar. Try red and blue, blue and yellow and finally all the colors.

Preschool Play is a daily newsletter that features fun, educational activities for parents to do with their 3-5 year old children. Get your free subscription today. Visit http://www.preschoolplay.com or email preschoolplay@mchsi.com.

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