Inside: After reading the book Mouse Paint, try this fun toddler color mixing art activity. A fun way to explore the colors of the rainbow!
After reading the picture book Mouse Paint, I wanted my toddlers to see what would happen when the mixed red, yellow, and blue.
In a salad spinner.
It was crazy fun!
Toddler Color Mixing Spin Art
What we used for this activity:
- Salad spinner
- Red, yellow, and blue washable tempera paint
- White paper cut into circles
- The book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Setting up this color mixing spin art activity:
I poured red, yellow, and blue washable paint into squeeze bottles and sat them on the counter near our art table.
Our preschool has 3 different types of salad spinners, my favorite being the one mentioned above. I love that it has a big button for the children to push with their palms. They are using their entire upper body to stand and push the button, making the paint spin around. It also has a small button that, when pressed, acts as a brake to stop the spinning. You can imagine how delighted toddlers are with this mechanism!
But I also like providing other types of spinners because they each work a bit differently. One of ours has a lever that needs to be pushed and pulled. The other has a handle that needs to be turned round and round.
I had all 3 of these salad spinners on our art table and the children could choose which ones they wanted.
Before I invited our toddlers to the art table, we gathered on our green circle carpet so I could read Mouse Paint. I love connecting art activities to books we read. In this book, we observed what happened when white mice jumped into red, yellow and blue paint.
I explained that we would be using the same colors at the art table so we could make new colors, just as the mice did.
Related: 15 Picture Book Activities
Hand the child a piece of paper to place inside the salad spinner.
Then, one at a time, hand the child one of the squeeze bottles. You will want to be right there in case the child wants to keep squeezing. (Trust me on this!) Start with one color, then remove that bottle and give the child another bottle, until all 3 colors have been squeezed onto the paper.
Then, place the lid on the salad spinner and it’s time to move that paint!
I had several children doing this at the same time – some squirting paint, some using the spinner. Since we are over halfway through the school year, and our children have done this activity several times, it was a lot easier. (This is why I love using the same process multiple times during the school year. It allows the children to feel more independent each time.)
So much fine motor going on!
Another reason I prefer the salad spinner with the clear lid and sides is that the children can actually watch the paint spinning and mixing.
Once the child is tired of all the spinning (this might be awhile, depending on the child), it’s time to lift the lid and check what’s been going on.
Look at the new colors that were created from those primary colors!
This is true process art. While the results are fun, what the children really love is the action that took place while making the paint spin.
More spin art activities: