There is a predictable pattern when mixing colors together to produce a new color.

With this Play Invitation, children can explore concepts such as mixing, color, and transformation. At the same time, they can make predictions about what happens when they use their fingers to blend colors and create a new color. This is great for building finger strength!

What Could Lead Us to This Play Invitation

  • Children have been curious about the origin of colors or how are they formed;
  • Children are excited about mixing ingredients;
  • Children have been exploring transformation.

Materials Needed

  • Soft pastels in primary colors (red, blue, and yellow)
  • White construction paper

Setting up This Play Invitation

  1. Arrange the pastels and paper on a table, within children’s reach.
  2. Have a dump cloth in case children want to clean their hands during the exploration.
  3. Make two patches of color markings very close to each other and blend them using your hands, in order to demonstrate to the children how to blend two colors of pastels.

    Tips: Attach the paper to the table with tape so it doesn’t move.

How to Blend the Colors

  1. Let the children explore freely and watch the magic happen – a new color appears!
Child uses both hands to blend the soft pastels on paper
Allow the children to use both hands to blend and explore the sensory experimentation

How to Nurture the Natural Unfolding of the Child’s Identity During This Play Invitation

  • Children have the right to learn through example. Educators can demonstrate the typical use of materials or processes – and in the process of challenging themselves to accomplish a goal, children can also make their own new discoveries.

The Academic Learning Opportunities

  • SCIENCE: Make predictions, observe and recognize transformation processes.
  • ART: Explore primary colors to produce new colors.


Organize a color kitchen. Set the primary colors in squeeze bottles and provide lots of containers and brushes. Let children mix and create new colors.

Book Recommendation

Purchase book here.

The girl in red, the girl in yellow, the girl in blue, and the boy in black and white are all set to stir up the rainbow.

Purchase book here.

This classic is a playful introduction to colors that will appeal to any budding artist or curious preschooler.

Purchase book here.

A delightful story about colors and what happens when they mix.