Megan’s mouse painting I did this with the preschool kids yesterday and was reminded just how much fun it is to see their faces light up. It really is magic to see how the primary colors mix. I recommend buying or checking out Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh to read with your child first. It goes through the primary and secondary colors in a charming story of artistic mice. After reading the story, try your own painting with a little tempra paint. I recommend saying something along these lines:

“Do you want to do our own painting just like the mice?”

“Let’s do a yellow part” (Squeeze a little bit of yellow onto the page and let them paint it with their brush.)

“What do you think will happen when we add some red?” (Squeeze more yellow onto the page and then add about 1/4 the amount of red as you have yellow. Let them “mix and stir and stir and mix” it.)

Wipe the brush off and do a red part, then mix with blue to make purple. Then wash the brush again and do a blue section, then mix 1/4 blue to 3/4 yellow to make green; talking through the process to help them stay engaged. If your artist is like Megan, these will not be neat little sections. (Although some of the other 3 year olds in her class did have pretty neat pages when done.) Don’t get too worried about how it turns out, let them enjoy exploring the paint. The best thing about this is just how crazy they think it is. I love to tell my kids that almost every color can be made with just the three primary colors. (Black and White are the exceptions.) Let them discover brown, which is made with all three of the primary colors. If they are really interested, you may want to let them try this with crayons and/or playdough. I drew a few pictures from the book for the kids to glue onto their painting (which they  really liked adding and coloring.) However, you should do whatever works for you; just make sure that you both have fun with it!