Color Families

Color Families lesson plan

  • 1.

    Find small, nonspill containers for paint mixing, such as mini-muffin tins. White paint can go in larger containers such as margarine tubs.

  • 2.

    Work in small groups. Demonstrate how to carefully use cotton swabs and droppers. Supervise closely for both safety and to assure ample supplies of all colors.

  • 3.

    Describe the paint mixing materials and color values as children experiment with making tints (white plus a color). Intense colors are easiest to see the gradation of tints.

  • 4.

    Cover your work area with recycled newspaper. Put on a Crayola® Art Smock. Pour white Crayola® Washable Tempera Paint into a container.

  • 5.

    Measure about a tablespoon of bright paint into a muffin tin. Paint a small swatch with a cotton swab on white paper.

  • 6.

    With a plastic dropper, put one drop of white paint into the color. Mix with the cotton swab. Make another color swatch. What is different about the colors?

  • 7.

    Add three or four more drops of white paint and mix. What do you think the color will look like now? Paint a swatch. How does it differ from the first two?

  • 8.

    Try adding a few more drops of white paint. Mix and paint. Compare all the different tints of your original color.


  • Asking Questions
  • Letters, Numbers & Words
  • Vocabulary
  • Physical: Eye - Hand Coordination
  • Physical: Senses
  • Physical: Small Muscles
  • Social & Emotional: Flexibility
  • Thinking: Creating
  • Thinking: Observing
  • Thinking: Predicting Outcomes
  • Thinking: Problem Solving
  • Thinking: Understanding Concepts