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Explore and Play: Color Patterns

What kinds of patterns can you make with blue and yellow?


  • blue and yellow paint on separate plates
  • cotton balls
  • paper

Key Science Concepts

  • Objects can be classified by color.


Show children the inside cover of Little Blue and Little Yellow, which is covered with alternating blue and yellow splotches. Explain that the colors make a pattern—a pattern is something that repeats, or happens more than once. This pattern is: blue, yellow, blue, yellow, blue, yellow, etc. Have children repeat the names of the alternating colors as you point to the splotches.

  1. Children will begin making their own blue-yellow-blue pattern by dipping a cotton ball in the yellow paint and dabbing it on their piece of paper. Next they’ll use a clean cotton ball dipped in the blue paint to make a blue splotch next to it.
  2. Tell them to repeat the blue-yellow-blue pattern in a line across their paper.
  3. At some point, it’s likely that the yellow and blue paint on someone’s paper will overlap—which is what happened when Little Blue and Little Yellow hugged in the book. Ask, What happened when the two colors mixed? Is that what you thought might happen? What made you think that would happen?


Challenge children to make a pattern of blue and yellow in the shape of a circle or a pattern around the four edges of the page. Or they can fill the page with many rows of blue and yellow, the way it appears in the book.