I went through a phase a few years ago where I read everything Maria Montessori ever wrote and tried to incorporate as much exploratory learning and play in our everyday activities. One of the things that I didn't do enough of was color games. Mostly, I couldn't think of what kinds of containers I could use that would be easy for little hands to hold, easy to measure and unbreakable. Well, now that my mind is locked on these stupid plastic bottles, I can't stop thinking of ideas of how to use them.
Every night after dinner, I try really hard to take an hour away from whatever work I have on the go (and there is always work to be done) and do some sort of non-TV, hands-on activity with Panorama. Tonight, we did two games. Primary color mixing and color grading.
For the first one, I added a blob of red, yellow and blue tempera paint to three bottles, then filled with water. I gave her a spoon and she mixed them together. Here is a youtube video of the process.
I was pleasantly surprised by how fun she thought this game was (she played for about another 30 minutes after this video making colors such as "avocado"). Also note how much LESS whiney-four-year-old she becomes as she starts seeing that I am NOT trying to torture her, and how it is OK to make a mess. She hates mess in general.
For the second game, I made a concentrated batch of purple and a concentrated batch of white. Then I had her mix 1 oz, 3oz, and 5oz of purple with enough white to fill to 6 oz. Then, she lined them up by which one was darker. She liked this game a lot, too.
I can see this becoming extremely popular. We'll take it outside next time on the little tikes picnic table and try some more variations on the theme- such as making 10 different concentrations instead of 3, etc.
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