I’ve been doing tray painting with kids for years. I wrote about tray painting in this kindergarten art lesson and this painting for kids post. I would have them use a piece of aluminum foil like below. (I lately use egg cartons cut up for the paint so I just throw them out when done)(we eat lots of eggs in my house so it’s not a problem 🙂
Usually they mix colors as they needed and use a combination of the mixed and non mixed colors.
The other day I had a brainstorm. Why not give them ONLY the 3 primaries and ONLY the aluminum foil. Let them create as many secondaries as they could and only then give them a piece of paper to use ALL of their colors.
I was so excited how it worked out.
Usually the kids are so pumped about painting that they either use mainly primaries on their papers, or just mix colors on their aluminum foil palettes and never transfer them to their papers.
This broke the activity down into separate steps.
I went over the instructions with them (especially to make sure to wash their brushes before dipping into another color) and then we talked about the 3 primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and how they were to make as many secondary colors as they could on the aluminum foil.
I have been used to giving the kids white as well to make shades and tints so it was really interesting to have them making different shades depending on how much of each color they used.
After their foils were filled with colors, I gave them white pieces of paper and showed them how many colors they now had to use for their pictures.
(Of course, I couldn’t resist at the end and gave them white also…..what are little girls to do after all, if they can’t make pink)
I personally found this a great learning experience and if you want to really teach about primaries making secondaries its a great way to do so.