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Explore and Play: Contrasting Colors, Blending Colors

Some colors stand out, others blend in.


  • white and green (or another color) sheets of paper
  • white and green paper torn into pieces
  • chart paper with heading “Blending Colors/Contrasting Colors”

Key Science Concepts

  • Similar shades of colors can blend into each other, sometimes making it hard to tell them apart.
  • Contrasting colors stand out from each other, making them easier to see.   


Emphasize the words contrast, different, and blend.


Tell children, When we read Mouse Paint, we looked at how some colors can blend into each other and others stand out from each other. We’re going to explore this some more. 

  1. Tell children that some animals have colors that help them survive, or stay safe where they live, like the three mice. Their color helps them blend in so dangerous animals have trouble spotting them.  
  2. Have children put three scraps of white paper on a sheet of white paper. Ask, How does this white background help the “mice” hide?
  3. Then have them place three scraps of green paper on a green sheet of paper. Ask, Is it easy to see the three green pieces? Why not?
  4. Then have them put the green scraps on the white paper and the white scraps on the green paper. Ask, do you think this would be a good place for the white and green scraps to hide? Why not? Explain that these are contrasting, or very different, colors.   

Create a new chart with the heading “Blending Colors/Contrasting Colors,” and go over what these words mean: Colors that blend look similar to each other; color that contrast are very different and stand out from each other. Have children add their thoughts and ideas to the chart and tell them that they’ll also be exploring contrasting colors and colors that blend together next week.