A simple color wheel can help your kids learn the basic foundation of color theory. This little activity might be great for a first art class. And its a start in showing kids how painters make the subtle colors they need in realistic paintings.

Get some simple paint – any paint will work. For this excursive, we’ll see how Red, Yellow, and Blue primary colors make 3 other secondary colors.

  1. Draw a wheel and split it into 6 sections like a pizza

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2. Paint the primary colors of Red, Yellow and Blue like this:


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3. Mix Red and Yellow to make Orange. Paint Orange in the #6 piece.

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4. Mix Yellow and Blue to make Green. Paint Green in the #3 piece.

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5. Mix Blue and Red to make Purple. Paint Purple in the #5 piece.

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Did You Know?

  • The colors that are opposite from each other are called complimentary colors. You can make “color contrast” or make colors pop by making pictures with two complimentary colors. For example, paint a picture of yellow fall leaves against a dark blue sky!
  • The reds, oranges and yellows are known as warm temperatures and the purples, blues and greens are known as cool. All colors have a temperature and can even be measured in increments of color temperature called degrees on the “Kelvin” scale”.
  • A hue is another word for color and refers to which area of the color wheel the color is found on.

Here are some more great resources on the basics of color theory: