Have your child see the different shades of a color by using food coloring.

What You Need:

• Water
• Clear plastic or glass container (Baby food jars with lids work well)
• Food coloring
• Spoon or something to stir with
• Old newspapers

What To Do:

1. Pour water into the container until it is half full. Put the container on some old newspapers to catch any spills or drips.
2. Ask your child what she thinks will happen when she puts some food coloring in the water.
3. Have your child place a drop or two of food coloring into the water and stir. Ask her to describe what happened to the water.
4. Ask her what she thinks will happen if she adds more food coloring. Have her add in and stir a little more food coloring and describe what happens. Encourage her to use descriptive words like “lighter” and “darker.”
5. Have her continue to add more food coloring to see what happens.
6. Do this again with another color in another container or add a different color to the same container.
7. If you speak another language, use the words from that language to name the colors.

Use four separate containers and number them 1 through 4. Using the same color, add as many drops of food coloring as the number on the container. Ask your child to place the containers in order from lightest to darkest. Continue the experiment by adding another color to each of the containers, again matching the number of drops used with the number on the container. Ask her to describe what happens as more drops of food coloring are added.

! Safety Alert: Use caution with glass containers. Glass is fragile and dangerous if it is cracked or broken. Monitor your child when doing this activity.