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Level: ECE, Primary
Grades: PreK - 2 | Age: 2-8yrs | Written by: Kim Swanger
[Kim is a teacher at Lakeview & Central in Council Bluffs, Iowa]

Students will learn about color mixing after reading the book, Mouse Paint. Art is a part of everything. Literacy and art make a great marriage of the two things young children are attracted to most: stories and kinesthetic experiences.

What You Need:

What You Do:
  1. Read the book Mouse Paint to students.
  2. Make note of how the mice in the story mix colors and make new colors.
  3. Ask students to predict the new colors the mice will make.
  4. When the book is finished, divide children into groups of three like the 3 mice in the story.
  5. Tell the students they now get to be the mice in the story as you make "puddles" of yellow, blue and red paint on the large pieces of white paper.
  6. Explain that their two fingers are mouse feet and they should "dance" in the puddles like the mice in the story.
  7. Emphasize that they need ONLY two fingers to dance.
  8. Observe as the students create secondary colors and ask them how they managed to make new colors.
  9. When dry, hang the pictures on the wall.
  10. Refer to them whenever you need to address how colors are made.

This is a somewhat messy project but it is a high-quality learning experience that the children will long remember. I've used this with preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade students but ALWAYS with a sink !

Recommended Books/Products:

Mouse Paint
by: Ellen Stoll Walsh
Full-color collages illustrate this simple story of heroic mice who outwit cats and snakes--and have a lot of fun introducing colors to young readers.

My Very Favorite Art Book: I Love to Paint!
Creating with strings, fingers, rollers, straws, and other super techniques: no wonder this entry in Lark's fabulous new art series will have kids saying "I love to paint!"

Painting with Children
Painting with Children contains sections on the "moral effects of color," the experience of colors, preparation, color stories and poems, panting with plant colors, painting the moods and seasons of nature, and much more.

The Science Book of Color
by Neil Ardley
This book explains the principles of color and gives instructions for a variety of simple experiments.

My First Paint Book
by Dawn Sirett
Twenty-two activities, from stenciled boxes to T-shirt designs, are presented along with step-by-step, full-color photographs and clear instructions, in a visual introduction to making and decorating things with paint.

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