Exploring White with Primary Colors


Using primary colors and white paint have fun with sponges or brushes. This activity can show your child how white can change a primary color. Great beginning paint activity. My children did this activity at an art class at 2 years old.
Tempura Paint with Red Blue and White


  • Tempera Washable Paint in Primary Colors (red, blue and yellow) and White Paint
  • 1 or 2 Brushes
  • White Paper (construction, scrapbook, card stock, tablets from craft stores like Michael for painting)
  • Paint containers(small cups or plastic palette which you can find for about a $1 at craft stores)
  • Small water container for rinsing brush.


  • Select colors to be used.
  • Place each color in a palette.
  • Add some white and mix and let your child paint. Add more white and let your child continue painting.

Tips and Suggestions

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

Other Ideas

Create a series of paintings for each primary color (Red, Blue and Yellow). 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 and White make Light Blue, Red and White make Pink)
painting with primary colors and white

Educational Tips

  • Painting is a great way to help develop fine motor skills as well as a great visual way to reinforce color recognition.
  • Discuss how white will lighten the main color. Make predictions about what will happen when you add more white to the main color.
  • Labeling the colors as suggested in the Other Ideas section are a great way to visually reinforce color words.