Chalk Painting – Learning about Colour Mixing

Learning about colour mixing

Wet chalk can add a bit of an exciting twist to mark making, drawing and painting. My son loves drawing with chalk but adding water to it gives the option of making darker, thicker lines or if you use a lot of water it can be used like paint. It is another great way for children to explore the many different ways colours can be changed when they are combined and mixed. My son particularly likes using it like finger paint and mixing the colours to see what happens. It can be a nice sensory activity if used like paint as the chalk in water feels ‘slimy’ and ‘slippery’. Children can enjoy squishing it and move it around.

What you need

  • Pieces of chalk (this is a good way to use up old pieces of chalk).
  • Bowl or container of water
  • Rag (optional for wiping up messy hands).

Let the chalk soak in the water for a few minutes (or longer) and then begin to draw. Children can use their fingers to blend the colours, or you may also draw lines, squiggles or letters through the wet chalk.

Questions to ask

  • Which colour did you choose? Why?
  • What happens when you blend the yellow and blue? What colour does it make?
  • Can you make purple? How did you do that?

What they get from it

Children can experiment with mixing colours to see how they change. Wet chalk can be used like finger paint and can be a colourful form of sensory play. When the chalk is still wet children can continue to mark make by rubbing their finger or even a stick through it to make lines, shapes or swirls. It could also be an opportunity for children to practice writing letters, numbers or words.

Take it further

When children have a good understanding of how colour mixing works they can begin to learn about primary vs secondary colours. You can get them to think about this by asking them if they can make red or blue or yellow and then letting them experiment to see if they can do this.

Leave a Reply