..is a busy one, and the more so if there is water involved. This art activity is perfect for understanding the relationship between primary and secondary colours, for developing fine motor skills, and keeping little hands busy in a constructive way.

A set of food colouring bottles, an eye dropper, a plastic egg carton and a cup of water, and you will have a happy little person, merrily learning about colour blending and colour intensity. If you don’t have a plastic egg carton, a set of egg cups, medicine glasses, (shot glasses if you’re desperate!) or any group of small containers will do. I had difficulty purchasing anything but glass eyedroppers, but if you plan ahead (and ask grandmas to save them) you can use the droppers from saline solution, baby panadol, and the like. A few syringes of varying sizes can add to the fun, but be prepared to be quizzed by the chemist when you request them!

For the very young, it is better to have your mixing colours already diluted in separate containers, as they have no concept of how concentrated the food colouring is. At this early stage, expect that all the colours will eventually be brown – it’s a valuable part of the learning process! As the children get older, they enjoy the challenge of creating some sophisticated colour blends.

The clean up is a lot less traumatic than paint. It washes out of clothes, though may take a day to come off skin, if the child has used it neat on the arms (or the legs, or the tum!) I have not found any staining on either the stainless steel sink, or the granite benches, but if you are concerned, this is a great outdoor activity, as when they are finished blending the colours, you can provide a paint brush for them to “paint” the cement. It’s all good fun!

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