Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mixing Colors in a Bag

For young children, art is about the tactility of the materials, what they feel.  Sometimes that means messy.  Here is a no mess activity that will provide a tactile experience as well as show how you can blend primary colors together to create new colors.  Another bonus,  it  can help build small hand muscles.  

1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups cold water
Food coloring -red, blue and yellow
 3 Ziploc bags, gallon size
Duct tape

Over medium heat, combine the cornstarch, sugar, and water in a saucepan, stirring continuously. Once the mixture begins to thicken, remove the pan from the heat and stir for another minute or so until it thickens to a pudding like consistency. Let it cool for 30 minutes.

Spoon the mixture into 3 bowls, stir a few drops of food coloring into each bowl, creating 3 colors -  blue, red and yellow. Then place 1/2 of the red and 1/2 of the yellow in a Ziploc bag. In a separate bag, place 1/2 of the blue and 1/2 of the yellow.  Make a third bag with the remainder of the blue and red.  Seal the bags with duct tape and let your child mix and mash the colors.  Let them discover the new colors they make.  The mixture should keep for about 1 week.

Alternative: For an interesting light-table effect, tape a bag to a low window and let your child use his fingers to draw patterns while the sun shines through.

Idea and photo from Family Fun magazine

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