We’re excited to be back today with another post in our art lessons series.
The lesson we’re going over today is one of those little projects that was handed down to me from a friend, who received it from another friend… it’s been tweaked and adjusted to the appropriate age category over time. And today I thought I’d share what I did with my kids in the color theory category last weekend.
This is a great way to teach your kids about the concept of colors. Involve them in conversation as you go, asking them what they remember from your last lesson, what colors they think certain combinations will make, etc. It’s fun to see their reactions to things, and the colors you can mix with a simple element like play-doh!
If you missed last week’s intro, feel free to check it out here! We’ll be reviewing a few points before we begin with this one, so without further ado…
Points to review with your kids:
• Do you remember what we talked about last week?
• Color is reflected light – You see color because light waves are reflected from objects, to your eyes. The light we see from the sun is called white light. It is actually all of the colors.
• Remember how we talked about a piece of glass called a prism, and how it can divide light?
• The rainbow is also called a spectrum of color. It’s always seen in the same order : Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet.
• Today, we’re going to make a color wheel. A color wheel is that spectrum of color, bent into a circle. It is a useful tool for organizing colors.
Here’s what you’ll need:
New talking points:
• A color wheel is that spectrum of colors, bent into a circle.
• Today, we will make our own color wheel by mixing play-doh.
Begin with the color wheel printable, and the primary colors. Review the primary colors again, and what they are. Take a small amount, and help your child cover the three sections with the primary colors listed.
• Primary Colors : (Red, Blue + Yellow) The main colors from which all other colors are made. They can not be created by mixing other colors.
• From the primary colors, secondary colors are created.
• Secondary Colors : (Orange, Green and Purple) Are made by mixing primary colors. Red + Blue = Purple. Red + Yellow = Orange. Blue + Yellow = Green.
For these three colors, take the primary colors, and finding the appropriate spot on the color wheel, mix until you’ve formed each color. (It’s fun for them to see the colors made right before their eyes) Place that color in the spot.
Tada! These are your secondary colors.
• Notice the colors that are right across from each other on the color wheel?
• These are called complementary colors. Yellow + Purple, Blue + Orange, Red + Green. They are opposites of each other.
• If you were to mix any of these, you would make brown.
• What is left on the color wheel that has not been filled in? Our intermediate colors.
• These are also called tertiary colors. These are both big words.
• This basically means they are the third group of colors.
• They are made by mixing a primary color with a secondary color.
See: Red + Orange = Red/Orange. Red + Violet = Red/Violet… etc.
Let the name of the color in the circle that needs to be created, be a guide for your play-doh formula. If the color is red-orange, then you will need two parts red, one part orange. It’s basically the color orange, with a lot of red in it. Play with it as you go, and see what combinations you make!
Slowly but surely, the color wheel should start to look like this.
Just another word to throw out (included on the sheet + depending on your child’s age) Analogous Colors = the colors next to each other on the color wheel.
I included a list at the bottom of the sheet for review, depending on the age of your child. For example: Malone was merely interested in mashing his colors violently into the paper. That’s fine. He also knows that different combinations make different colors. Mission accomplished. We will probably do this a couple of times, because they all enjoyed it so much. Definitely over his head, but he knows what a rainbow is, and he knows how to organize a rainbow with play-doh. Yay!
Aiden, my 7 year old, on the other hand, knows what complementary, primary, secondary, and tertiary colors are. He can’t say analogous or tertiary to save his life. It’s just there for reference, and expanding their vocab (read: impressing the general public with random factoids on a whim at your next family dinner party) is a new and fabulous possibility.
And Emerson… is kind of a big deal. (Check out that face.)
They were proud of their little projects and enjoyed merging those colors!
We will continue to review these in different ways, until our kids get the hang of it… use the words to reference them, etc. They don’t need to have it memorized, because we will keep reviewing this concept in future lessons. But a nice grasp of primary, secondary, complementary, and why we have a color wheel, is always a good thing.
Trust me, they’ll be glad they had this one! As always, let us know if you plan to use it… we’d love to hear!
Have an inspired day, little artists! ;}