Make a Colour Wheel Rainbow

1 hr activity

This activity is suitable for all ages and can be simplified or extended to suit your child/children.

Download our Lift Off! Pack for ideas on teaching art to Primary age children.

You will need:

  • Plain paper
  • Paints (whatever type you have at home) Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Orange and Purple
  • Felt Tips
  • Cotton buds if you have them
  • Paint Brushes
  • Plate or Palette

Colour Mixing (20 minutes)

What is a Primary Colour?
There are three primary colours Red, Yellow and Blue. They can be mixed together to produce other colours which are called secondary colours.

1. Before you start our colour wheel rainbow ask your child/children what a primary colour is? Can they name the colours?
For younger children ask them if they can name any colours. Can they tell you what colour a strawberry, the sea and a banana are?

2. Now look at the colour wheel below:

3. Can your child/children point out the secondary colours and name them? Explain to the child/children that secondary colours are made by mixing primary colours together. What primary colours do they think make up the secondary colours in our colour wheel?

Red & Blue = Purple
Red & Yellow= Orange
Blue & Yellow=Green

What is a Secondary Colour? A colour that is produced by mixing two primary colours together.

4. Now use the primary paint colours to mix the secondary paint colours on the palette.

Note: you can use ready-made colours for younger children.

Draw something that is the same colour as one of the secondary colours and use felt tip pens to colour it in.

Colour Wheel Rainbow Activity (40-45 minutes)

1. Now it is time to make the Rainbow!
Ask the child/children to draw the rainbow in felt tip pens using primary colours.

2. Fill in the gaps with the secondary colours using felt tips.
Asking the child/children will help them remember which primary colours make which secondary colour.

3. Now the child/children are ready to fill in between the lines with the correct colours on the rainbow. To do this the child/children can use either the cotton buds to create dots or the end of a paintbrush.

Younger children can use the cotton buds or if less messy use chunky felt tip pens to make the dots.

Extension Activities

  • If your children are older, ask what they have learnt and what they would improve on if they did the activity again.
  • For younger children, you could ask them to mix the colours and make a painting using different marks.
  • Ask your children to mix different colours using colour theory. They could add white or black to make different shades.
  • What about asking your children to make up descriptive names for the colours? This is what paint charts do.