March 29, 2013

Toddler Color Mixing Lab

Nothing is more fun than squirting colored water all over the place, right?

Hands on Color Theory Exploration

Tank and Peanut, my 20 month old twins had so much fun dyeing Easter eggs that I decided to set up a simple color mixing lab for them in the shower.  My older boys loving exploring color theory through play, and I knew my little guys would have a blast with this activity.  This could easily be done in the bath, but our shower floor is wider than our bathtub.  I knew they'd try to move around a lot, and I didn't want them to slip.

How to Set up a Color Mixing Lab for Toddlers

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I filled the bottles with warm water, so Tank wouldn't get cold.  (Peanut didn't want to join us upstairs.)  I only used primary colors for this activity.

The beauty of bringing the color mixing lab into the shower is that the mess was all contained, and everything rinsed clean down the drain.

Through this color mixing activity Tank is learning so much.  He watched in awe as the colors changed when combined.  Sometimes he mixed in a few drops, and other times he poured a full container of one color into another to see the results.  The squeezy bottles provide fine motor practice.  Squirting the colored water into the containers requires focus and strong hand and eye coordination.

The best part is that he is learning all of this while playing.

JZ caught us playing and immediately joined in the fun.

This activity can also be done outside when the weather is nice.

The day after we did this color mixing lab we had our playgroup over to paint.  I set out small containers full of tempura paint by butcher paper, and Tank immediately walked over to the paint and dumped a container and watched the paint spread.  I couldn't blame anyone but myself!  Thankfully he dumped it all on the butcher paper, so it wasn't a problem.  He looked up and flashed his adorable grin.  Next time I'll know to give him instructions before turning his loose on paint, especially the day after color mixing play.

Please note that the food coloring stained his skin a bit.  I washed off as much of the red as possible, but a faint amount was still on his nose and forehead the next day.  Food color stains don't bother me, but you might not want to do something like this before family pictures.  Stubborn stains can be rubbed away gently with distilled white vinegar on a paper towel.  I didn't try it, because I didn't want any vinegar to drip into his eyes.

For more hands on activities to learn about color theory follow me on Pinterest.

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More Toddler Activities to Learn Colors:

Summer fun sensory play with Kool Aid ice Simple gross motor game for toddlers to teach color recognition Simple summer sensory play with colored ice - I want to make some right now!


  1. Looks like lots of fun, and give me a fun idea too! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have been wanting to do this with my 19 month old. Looks like they had fun!! Totally off topic but I notice you've got what looks like an amber teething necklace on at least one of them. I've been debating about getting one. How do you find it working?

  3. Hahaha! I making a mess is my daughter's favorite way to learn. We'll have to try it.

  4. Brilliant, it looks like someone had a LOT of fun. x\

    Thanks so much for linking to Fun Sparks!

  5. I still love this. thanks for linking to Challenge and Discover this month.


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