Mixing Paint Colors Preschool Activity

Kids can explore the results of mixing paint colors together in a process art activity. Mixing two or more paint colors combines science and art with hands-on creative play. 

Preschool art and science mixing paint colors activity

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The process of mixing paint colors together provides an 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); choosing blocks by color or shape (art); using blocks as weights (technology); counting blocks (math); observing blocks as they topple (science).


Fun STEAM resource! Check out all the themes.

STEAM KIDS 50+ Activities


Kids science and art STEAM digital resource



Mixing paint colors

This painting activity may unfold in different ways. 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, where parents and educators offer simple setup and cleanup advice.


Instructions for mixing paint colors activity


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.



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 you 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 the colors are mixed together you can extend the activity as you 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 science and art go together in this STEAM in this activity:

  • Science = creating new colors by mixing colors together
  • Art = using different colors, creating designs


Counting and Colors on Pinterest


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