This week we are wrapping up our class series in Mini Makers on the elements of design. I want to share with you what we do in our Mini Makers classes and how we make some abstract concepts a little more concrete for our littlest creators.
We started our series focusing on color. Color theory can often feel obvious to us adults who have had experience mixing colors, but to little ones, making green from yellow and blue almost feels like magic. I can explain the color wheel to my young students over and over, but the information is not going to stick well. The best way for young children to learn is to learn through hands-on experience. That hands-on mixing experience is the basis for our class.
We always start our class with an opening activity. This week's opening activity was color mixing with playdough. Children were given white playdough and were asked which two primary colors they wanted to add with food coloring. The kids mixed, and played, and kneaded, until...suddenly they had a brand new color.
Then we got messy, mixing paint on a large work surface. Only primary colors were available, but it didn't take long for pops of purple, green, and orange to start emerging onto the paper. Mini Makers joyfully mixed with paintbrushes and their hands. Sometimes the color I like to call, "preschool brown" emerged, an important lesson on over-mixing that will build their foundation for later art projects.
When Mini Makers were ready to move on from painting, we ended class by strengthening fine motor skills with pipettes and food coloring. Little artists watched in wonder as paper towels quickly absorbed the liquid and colors blended into new colors.