The right color-themed activities give preschool aged children the opportunity to explore the wonderful world of color. These hand-picked color crafts and activities for preschool teach kids about color recognition and how color mixing works using a variety of techniques like art projects and science experiments.
Incorporating color play ideas in math, science and art projects not only boosts cognitive development and visual perception skills, it brings a rainbow of fun to every preschooler's day!
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Explore a Single Color in Art
A single color day is a popular concept in preschools. Kids like to celebrate Red Day, Orange Day, Green Day by dressing up in the color of the day.
However, you don't need to confine single color exploration to a single, special day. In her book, Young at Art: Teaching Toddlers Self-Expression, Problem-Solving Skills, and an Appreciation for Art Susan Striker advocates that painting with a single color helps kids to focus on the process of creating art.
In fact, you can work with a single color across many different types of art projects, not just painting. How about single color sculpture, stickers, collage or printing? View our different ideas for single color art.
Cellophane Color Mixing
The translucent nature of cellophane makes it an excellent tool for exploring how color mixing works.
Cut up cellophane sheets into shapes to create this preschool-friendly abstract stained glass art or use blue and yellow sheets to create an activity to go along with reading Leo Lionni's Little Blue and Little Yellow.
When you want to get kids moving make a quick pair of colored "glasses" using cellophane and cardboard tubes. Then they can explore the world in different colors.
Learning about color mixing with paint is a classic color activity for preschoolers. Try this no-mess color smushing in a bag when you want them to stay seated. Or, when a little physical activity is needed, mix colors with a shaken container paint activity.
Of course, use the subsequent colors to make art!
Color sorting is an excellent quiet time activity. Blocks, toy cars, bean bags, or any other type of toy will work. Use what you have hand, the objects don't need to be all the same type. My kids loved to use kid-friendly chopsticks to sort pom poms by color and shape. For added fun, sort the pom poms into matching colored bowls.
Read Books about Colors
There are many wonderful preschool books about colors. While you are reading them, point to the illustrations and ask your child to identify colors. The following are some of our favorite children's books about colors:
- Freight Train by Donald Crews
- Mix It Up! by Hervé Tullet
- Black Bird Yellow Sun by Steve Light
- Holi Colors by Rina Singh
Color Hop is a simple activity that gets the wiggles out and is great for energetic kids. Head outdoors with a bucket of sidewalk chalk. Create several large circles for each color. When kids are ready, call out the colors and kids race to find the corresponding color circle.
This is another great color activity that works indoor or out. Grab a few sheets of colored construction paper and place on the floor. Next set out a selection of bean bags in different colors. (These cornhole bean bags are perfect.) If you don't have bean bags, fill some single-color socks with tissue paper to make soft balls.
Kids try to toss the bean bags or sock balls so that they land on the corresponding sheet of paper. Alternatively, you can paint cardboard boxes in the correct colors instead of using construction paper.
Color patterning activities have the added benefit of building pre-math skills! Cut out a selection of colored shapes in different colors from construction paper or felt sheets and demonstrate how to make patterns. For example: blue square-white circle-blue square-white circle-blue square-white circle, etc.
Once you get started exploring colors with your preschoolers, the ideas will just keep coming!