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Toddler Activities: Using Tempera to Explore Primary Colors

Toddler Activities using Paint are a great way for a child to express him or herself and learn about and colors at the same time.

red-orange primary paint picture DESCRIPTION

Using just two or colors and various sponges or brushes can teach your child about primary and secondary colors. Great beginning paint activity my children did at an art class at 2 years of age.


  • Tempera Washable Paint 2 Primary Colors (See chart below to see what two colors you would like to mix.)
  • 1 or 2 Brushes
  • White Paper (construction, scrapbook, cardstock or even sketch paper)
  • Paint containers(small cups or plastic pallette which you can find for about a $1 at craft stores)
  • Small water container for rinsing brush.

    1. Select colors to be used.
    2. Place each color in a palette.

    3. Have your child explore with the colors. Encourage using one color and then adding the second.


  • Having a brush for each color makes it easier to monitor.

    blue-red paint picture Red + Blue = Purple
    Do one for each combo of primary colors. Display the pictures up on a bulletin board or wall and print out color names in the respective color and tape or pin them next to the picture. (Blue print in blue letters, red in red letters,etc.)


  • Painting is a great way to help develop fine motor skills as well as a great visual way to reinforce color recognition.

  • Make predictions about what will happen when you mix the two colors.

  • Labelling the colors as suggested in the Other Ideas section are a great way to visually reinforce color words.

  • primary-secondary color chart

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