Ordinary Moments: Painting!


You are probably aware that where there is preschool there is paint. Children are regularly engaged in marble painting, sponge painting, tin foil painting, kitchen gadget painting and the list goes on.  I love to think that through painting we are developing future artists!  

Recently, we had given the children some water color discs for painting.

If you think back to the paint box that may have been part of your elementary school supplies, then the water color discs are the same only our discs are larger.

The main issue I have with these paints is the children need to wash their brushes between each colour or the colours end up muddy. As I observed them painting with the water colour paints, I noticed that they really liked mixing colours both on the paper and on the discs themselves. And each time they were finished, I wiped the discs with a sponge to restore the original colour.

As I was wiping the discs for what felt like the hundredth time and feeling slightly put off I remembered that we have a lot of painting pallets that had not been used in a long time.  Those pallets are designed to mix colours!  I realized that it was time to give those pallets a try.

I gave each child a pallet with red, yellow, blue and white.  Then I showed them how they could mix the colours to make new ones.  Ooooooh!  Such excitement!


S literally bounced as she started mixing colours and realized what she could do!  “I made blue!  I made clear blue!” she said. She had created “clear blue” by mixing blue and white.




T had a different plan.  “I’m making lots of different purples,” she told us.  And there were several shades of purple, just as she had described.




Later T said, “By mixing white and yellow, I made another yellow.”

Many more children enjoyed this painting.  I love how the same materials are given to each of them and yet their results and experiences with the paint are so individual.  They test out the theories about colours and what happens when they are mixed together.


To complete the activity we offered them the opportunity to use a small sponge to wash their own paint pallets which was as enjoyable as the painting itself!


Early Learning Goals:  (taken directly from the B.C. Early Learning Framework)

Well Being and Belonging

to adapt to and enjoy experiences of change, surprise, and uncertainty

Exploration and Creativity

to build, create, and design using different materials and techniques

Language and Literacies

to communicate thoughts and experiences creatively using many different forms of expression

Social Responsibility and Diversity

to understand that all persons (and ideas and ways of creating) have value; accept and welcome individual differences

If you think about it you can see how this simple activity meets goals in the four broad areas of learning outlined in B.C.’s Early Learning Framework.

Thoughts from Teacher Cindy:

So now I need to think a little more about painting and ways to mix colours that would be interesting, new and a little different.  It’s time to go back to the planning for the next session but based on these ideas, I am feeling very inspired.  My thought… what if we take the painting outdoors? And perhaps a little colour mixing with food colouring and water?  I’m excited to see where that takes us and hopeful that we can think of some new words to describe all of these lovely new colours as we create them.