By Gaby Merediz
Take watercolor play out where it should be: by the water.
When my son said he wanted to do experiments with color, boy am I glad that we decided to take it to the beach instead of doing it in the kitchen. Both kids ended up with purple hands, and color got everywhere. But there was no need to worry about it, because we were in the great outdoors.
This is an ideal activity to do at the beach, but if you don’t live near one, you can spread play sand out in a plastic bin (the kind used for organizing closets) or just head outside and spread the sand out somewhere in your yard.
What You’ll Need:
- Liquid watercolors
- Buckets, cups, bowls
- Sand (if you don’t live near the beach)
- Water (if you don’t live near the beach)
Step 1 – Name the colors
Have your child name the colors in the watercolors. This is a great way to reinforce color recognition.
*Connect: You may just want to play with primary colors to help teach color mixing. If so, use only red, yellow and blue. Explain to your child that these are the primary colors, and they can be used to make the secondary colors green, purple and orange.
Step 2 – Mix colors
Have your child mix red and yellow (to make orange), yellow and blue (to make green), and red and blue (to make purple). This can be done directly on the sand or in a cup full of water. If you do it in a cup, make sure that the cup is clear or white so that you can clearly make out the color.
*Connect: Show your child how to squeeze out just one drop at once. This is a great fine motor skill (but beware: your child will probably get color on his or her fingers).
Step 3 – Get creative
Give your child leeway to play freely with the colors.
*Connect: This is a great way to encourage experimentation. See what happens when you mix in secondary colors, or when you mix colors on the sand vs. directly in the water. What happens to the colors when a wave comes? We ended up making a sand shark and decorating the teeth with red color. Very scary!!