If you have a child who doesn’t see well, how do you teach him/her that colors, when combined, make new colors? The pictures in books like Mouse Paint aren’t clear enough to illustrate this concept, and it’s probably hard to tell that the color changes when you mix watercolors or finger paints. You really need a big, bright batch of color to show how colors mix.
When I was first trying to introduce Peanut to the joys of coloring, I discovered that coloring in the bathtub was the trick to getting him interested and involved. I’ve now discovered that the bathtub is also an ideal place to teach him how colors combine. Each time he gets ready to lather up, I let him pick two of Sesame Street’s Fizzy Tub Colors to toss in his bath. The tablets come in red, blue and yellow, and they quickly start to turn your bath water bright colors when you toss them in the tub. The color spreads out from the central tablet, and then, as the water mixes, the colors combine.
Admittedly, Peanut still argues that red and blue make green, even when the evidence is that they make purple, but it’s a start. It gets him interested in colors and gives him a huge palette to explore color mixing on–it’s a scale I couldn’t achieve for him in any other medium. Hopefully, as time goes by and our experiments with tub colors continue, he’ll start to learn how to mix the tabs to get colors–and maybe even come to accept that red and blue make a lovely purple rather than a bright green.
Note: the fizzy tub colors don’t make bubbles for your tub–the bubbles in the photos are from our Elmo Bubble Bath. (Did I mention that Peanut is an Elmo fanatic? He gets very excited about baths with his “Elmo bubbles”–they’ve single-handedly made it so he’s willing to take baths again, without a fight. Go Elmo!)