Explore the World: Colors

In response to the STE(A)M movement (and with great thanks to such great inspiration & encouragement from colleagues: Amy, Abby, and Kendra), this past fall I started a STEM storytime series at the library. This is primarily aimed at preschoolers and their families, registration open to ages 3-7 in our library.


Books & Group Activities

Opening Activity
Building blocks from Kendra.



Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin

I started with “Dog’s Colorful Day” since I knew that would be a big hit and that the kids would have a lot of fun identifying the colors as we went. Between books, I pulled out my “Mouse Paint” flannelboard and introduced the concept of blending primary colors to make secondary colors. And then I let “Monsters Love Colors” nail that point home. (It was also a great movement as we danced and wiggled to mix our colors.)

And then it was time for the station activities!

Station Activities

Color Mixing Station
This came from a long ago Flannel Friday from Cate! I used it in a rainbow program several years ago, and will never forget the wonder of the kids’ faces when they opened their hands to reveal a brand new color. I bought play dough to use, with the intention of letting the kids take it home afterwards. You can imagine their excitement at keeping their new colored play dough.

Flashlights and Rainbows
I got this fabulous idea from Amy’s Color Science program. We had some flashlights in our miscellaneous bin from another program, and I took some of our blank CD-Rs for the kids to explore.

Rainbow Milk Experiment
I found a link to this video when looking for color science experiments and was immediately sold on doing it with the milks. We already had food coloring at the library, but I did pick up a gallon of milk and dish soap. The gallon was more than enough to get me through the entire program, even resetting the experiment for each kid. This was by far the “GREATEST. STATION. EVER.” in their opinion. I heard some wonderful observations about colors — my favorite was “It’s turning brown. Like when you mix all the paint. All together, it makes brown!”

Tissue Paper Art
And finally, we did tissue paper art. I had all the materials out to do tissue paper painting, but the kids took the art in a different directions — fine by me! They wound up layering the tissue paper squares to make new colors on their paper. Still a great exercise in being creative and increasing conversations about color mixing!

Take-Home Activities


I had a pretty awesome book display up at the table next to the door for the kids to take from.

I also handed out these take-home packets as they left. Inside, there’s a booklist, an activity, and a coloring page. (They love coloring pages!)

October’s theme was “Water Science!” and I’ll post about that in two weeks!

6 comments on “Explore the World: Colors

  1. Lisa Jenn
    January 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    I love the milk experiment! I did a gender-neutral STEAM-based Rainbow Magic-themed program for early elementary last fall, and this would be perfect for next time.

    • Katie
      March 4, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      The milk experiment was crazy fun — I think it would definitely work in a Rainbow Magic program!

  2. Radnor Library Kid Zone
    January 16, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    We love your ideas! Feel free to check out some of our library’s STE(A)M programming at http://radnorlibrarysmartkids.wordpress.com!

    • Katie
      March 4, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      Thank you!

  3. Paula
    February 4, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Love this. I have plans to use this for our afterschool program and then during the summer reading program.

    • Katie
      March 4, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      I think it would work well as an after-school program!

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