A collection of ideas for exploring colors in Pre-K and Preschool.
Find more science ideas on the Science Resource Page
A list of color books for Pre-K children: Books
- Colors All Around, by Jack Hartmann: MP3 Download
- Gummy Bear Song, by Dr. Jean: MP3 Download and Activity
- Songs for Teaching Colors: MP3 Downloads
- Rainbow Colors: Mrs. Jones Room
- The Color Song: Mrs. Jones Room
- A Rainbow of Colors ~ We All Live Together Vol. 5, by Greg & Steve
I made these flags from sheets of felt, cut in half, and hot-glued them to dowel rods. We use them with color songs, such as “Colors All Around” and “A Rainbow of Colors”.
Gummy Bear Song (Dr. Jean)
A fun song for teaching colors: read the post at this link and get the printable: Gummy Bear Song
These songs can be downloaded immediately and burned to a CD or synced to your iPod:
I See Colors Book
Make a layered book by folding it where each page is a little longer than the one before. Each page has a different color with the words “I see red” or “I see yellow”. Children draw pictures (with matching color crayon) on each page, or cut out pictures from magazines to glue in the book.
Colorful World Book
This is another option for a book of colors: A Colorful World book (read the post at the link).
Gummy Bear Sorting
These are gummy bears, but any kind of gummies could be used for this activity. I drew lines on a paper plate with a Sharpie to make sections for sorting.
Sorting by Color
Children sort paper cutouts by color and glue them onto a piece of paper that has lines drawn on it to divide it into sections. To make the paper cutouts, use paper punchers from a craft store (I have also seen these in the Lakeshore catalog).
Read the post at this link for the Color Swirl Science Activity.
Make a graph of children’s favorite colors. Each child chooses one Unifix cube of their favorite color. Stack each color to make an object graph.
Color Mixing with Water
Children experiment with mixing colored water. Use the primary colors (red, blue, yellow) to make new colors. Red, blue and yellow food color is added to water in a clear cup. Children use eyedroppers to get the colored water they want and mix the colors in a paint tray. We use plastic paint trays with 6 mini bowls. Children can dump their water into a bucket once they have filled the 6 bowls and start again. They can put drops of the colors they make on a paper towel, so that it can be saved.
Color Mixing with Paint
The children are given a mixing tray, paintbrushes, and cups of paint with red, yellow, blue, white, and black. The clear mixing trays in the photo were leftover packaging from Easter eggs, but anything can be used. The red, yellow, and blue paint are the primary colors used for mixing secondary colors (green, purple, orange). The white is for making tints and the black is for making shades of color. The children freely experiment, mixing any colors they chose.
Floating S Experiment
This is a really cool experiment I saw at a workshop I attended. Read the post at this link: Skittles Science Experiment.
Use paint sample cards for a color matching activity (read the post at this link).
Children sort silk flowers by color. The flowers can be cut off of the stem and children sort them on the table, or leave the flowers on the stem and children can sort them into different vases.
Colored Snack Spread
Children mix food coloring in white icing or soft cream cheese, spread the icing on graham crackers or a bagel half, and add a topping (sprinkles or semi sweet chocolate chips).
Have children search through magazines for red pictures, and glue them onto red construction paper. Do the same with each color and use these as posters for the classroom.
Another Idea: Cut fabric of different patterns and colors into 1-inch squares, and give children different colors of construction paper cut in half. Make sure to have several patterns of each color fabric (ginghams, stripes, florals, plaids, polka dots). Children glue the pieces of fabric onto the matching color of construction paper (blue fabric on blue paper, yellow fabric on yellow paper, etc.) These can be made into a book or quilt.
Color Sorting Cups
Label clear punch cups with color names. Children sort a collection of small objects into the cups by color. Examples: crayons, small blocks, silk flowers, counting bears, ribbons, cloth pieces, colored rocks, leaves.
Make color discovery bottles by putting colored water in a plastic sealed test tube or a drink bottle. Soap or oil can be added to the bottle for “special effects”. Color bottles also make an interesting decoration if placed on a windowsill or shelf.
Tell the children a color they are to find, and have them search around the classroom for one thing of that color. Everyone comes back to the circle, and the children share what they found.
Giant Color Dice
Printable Giant Color Dice game (see the post at this link.)