Mixing Paint Colors Preschool Activity

The process of mixing two or more paint colors together combines science and creativity in a simple art activity. This activity is a fun way for kids to explore colors while painting patterns and designs.

Preschool art and science activity mixing paint colors

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With the process of mixing paint colors together comes the opportunity to explore materials and observe changes. This type of activity that combines science with art is often referred to as STEAM.

S.T.E.A.M. = Science + Technology +Engineering +Art + Math

Kids naturally apply the principles of STEAM to everyday play. Here is an example of play with blocks: building towers (engineering); sorting blocks by color (art); using blocks as weights (technology); counting blocks (math); observing blocks as they topple (science).


Fun STEAM resource! Check out all the themes.

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STEAM Kids 50+ Activities for Kids


STEAM Kids Table of Contents



Instructions for mixing paint colors activity

There are lots of ways for this painting activity to unfold. Allow your early learner to be your guide as much as possible - choosing paint colors and brushes, deciding which colors to mix together, and whether to extend the activity with other craft materials such as craft sticks or glitter.

Before you begin, read through our list of tips for making painting with preschoolers fun and easy. Parents and educators offer simple setup and cleanup advice.


Painting with a variety of paint colors


Drop a blob of each paint color onto a plastic tray. The plastic surface allows the paint to move freely over the tray, and is easy to clean up with soap and water. You could also apply the paint directly to paper or cardboard.

You can do some painting on paper first, like we did, before starting to mix the colors.


Mixing paint colors


Mix paint colors with a paint brush preschool art activity


Pull the colors from the top down with a paint brush. Bring the colors together near the center of the tray.

What happens when I combine two colors, or three colors? Is the new color darker or lighter?

Does your picture look like a river? A waterfall? A rainbow? 

Describe and name the colors you draw from, as well as the new colors you create.


Painting with preschoolers mixing paint colors activity


Once all our colors were mixed together we were able to draw designs or letters in the paint.

We also played tic-tac-toe!

Why settle for just two or three colors when you can have so many more by mixing colors together?



Mixing colors painting activity for preschoolers


This simple color mixing activity is a fun way for toddlers and preschoolers to participate in a process art experience while making observations as young scientists.


 How STEAM is used
  • Science = creating new colors by mixing colors together
  • Technology = using paint brushes
  • Engineering = setting up the activity
  • Art = using different colors, creating designs
  • Math = counting number of paint colors, making patterns


Counting and Colors on Pinterest


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