Preschool / Kindergarten Activity
Materials / Equipment Needed:
  • Optional: Book to read together about color.
  • One small jar with lid per child (baby food jar, small jam jar etc.)
  • Prism or crystal to create a rainbow of color in the room from the light
  • Color wheel, if able to borrow
  • Paint chips from paint store
  • Snack-size plastic food bags, two or three per child
  • Granulated sugar (1/2 cup for each color)
  • ½ cup dry measuring cup
  • Food coloring or paint—liquid or gel (found in baking aisle or craft store)
  • Sugar Cookie Dough (or ingredients to make Sugar Cookie Cut-outs)
  • Equipment: baking pans and oven.

  • Ask “Where does color come from?” White light is broken apart into colors - show rainbow from a prism or crystal -light goes in, comes out broken into colors our eye sees
  • “Do you know what three colors make up all the other colors?”
    They are called primary colors—red, yellow, green. If you mix them, you will get all the other colors. Adding white or black will make different shades or tints. (Show the color wheel or paint chips if available.)
  • Read about color from one of the books listed below or another favorite book.
  • Create a rainbow of colors from primary food colors and sugar. Follow recipe for Rainbow Dust, allow child to choose several colors to create. Share the colors to create small “Rainbows in a Bottle”
  • Let’s Make: “Rainbow Dust”
    • Ingredients
      • ½ cup sugar for each color
      • Food colors or paint (gel or liquid)
      • Snack sized plastic food bags
    • Instructions
      • Put sugar in a sealable plastic food bag. Pick a color from the chart and add the food colors to sugar in bag. Push out air and seal the bag.
      • Squeeze sugar in bag until it becomes colored. Store sugar in sealed bag. Makes ½ cup colored sugar.

    Color Number of Drops of Liquid Food Color
      Orange 2 drops yellow and 2 drops red
      Peach 4 drops yellow and 1 drop red
      Yellow 4 drops yellow
      Pale yellow 2 drops yellow
      Green 8 drops green
      Lime green 3 drops yellow and 1 drop green
      Blue 5 drops blue
      Turquoise 3 drops blue and 1 drop green
      Baby blue 2 drops blue
      Purple 3 drops red and 2 drops blue
      Red 10 drops red
      Rose 5 drops red and 1 drop blue
      Pink 1 drop red
    Gold Medal/General Mills, Rainbow Bakery Color-Full Adventure.
    Chicago Metallic, Kidz Baking Club

Baking Activity:
  1. Make Sugar Cookie Cut-outs recipe. Cut-out cookies and sprinkle with colors of “Rainbow Dust” and bake.
Bake for Family Fun Exploration:
  • What is the favorite color you made?
  • What would you call it?
  • What colors did you use to make it?
  • Where do you see the color you made in nature?
  • Read about light and color
  • Discover how white light breaks into colors
  • Explore mixing colors using edible food paints/colors and sugar
  • Share what they create
  • Create their own Rainbow in a Bottle art for a friend or family member
  • Check out other great sugar and edible craft ideas at:
  • Extra color experiment:
    Use one white coffee filter, water soluble green or black marker, a quarter,a paper cup, water and a plastic cup.
    • Lay the coffee filter out flat and draw a circle around the quarter in the middle of the filter with the green marker.
    • Fill the paper cup with water. Set the plastic cup open side up on the table and stretch the filter over the mouth of the cup.
    • Dip your finger in the water and wet the middle of the circle a little at a time until the colors in the green (or black) start to spread. What colors do you see?


Primary color
basic colors from which all other colors are made (red, blue, yellow)
Secondary color
colors made when primary colors are mixed (violet, orange, green)

Books for Reading Together:

Babar’s Book of Color. Laurent de Brunhoff. 1984.
Calico Cat Looks at Colors. Donald Charles. 1975.