Here is an easy, hands on way to teach color mixing and a math concept to your toddler or preschooler. The best part is that the activity involves moving their bodies, which always seems to help my little guy really, truly understand a new concept.
The other day my 2.5 year old and I were drawing and coloring. He drew something and said, “look, mama, a triangle!” Then I drew a triangle on that triangle and another way to make a star. Then something hit me. I was using red, he was using blue and we started seeing purple as our crayons met on the page.
So I drew two big circles with a slight overlap, a Venn Diagram. “What's that, Mama?” he asked. I told him and he repeated the words back to me registering the new vocabulary. Kids are amazing as you watch their brains work and process the world.
Then I took a step back. I drew one smaller red circle and one smaller blue circle. I described what I was doing to him. Then I pointed out the larger red and blue circles and where they overlap we get a new color, purple. He jumped up and started running around the room (the movement!) collecting red, blue and purple items We both began to collect items around us placing the blue items on the blue circle and the red items on the red circle, and, finally, the purple items on the purple “oval” or overlap.
Easy, right? This activity was spur of the moment so can obviously be presented in a neater fashion. The spontanaeity worked for us. Some days are just like that…
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