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Food Coloring

Make different colors and shades with food coloring and water.


  • food coloring (red, blue, yellow)
  • plastic bottles filled with clear water
  • white ice cube trays
  • eyedroppers/pipettes
  • cups of clear water
  • optional: clear plastic egg cartons to mix food coloring in and a light table for shining light through the food coloring in the cartons


During Week I, the focus is on making shades of the same color. Put several drops of a single color of food coloring in a bottle of water—make sure the color is fairly dark and concentrated. Give each child an ice cube tray, a cup of clear water, and a pipette (eyedropper). Pour some of the colored water in the first compartment of each ice cube tray. Model how to use a pipette and let children practice the technique. Then let them use the pipettes to mix varying amounts of colored water and clear water in the remaining compartments of their ice cube tray, creating 12 different shades of the same color.