Impromptu colour learning 

I wanted to share a little story from a few days ago, when Frida was painting in the afternoon. We do a lot of painting and drawing at the moment, art is definitely one of Frida’s favourite activities. 

(You’ll have to excuse the quality of the photos accompanying this post – in London it gets properly dark around 4pm at the moment, and the light in our dining room is fairly dim). 

As Frida was painting, she put some paint on the table, and noticed with interest that although the paint was blue in the dish, and on the paper, it looked green on the table. You can see this moment in the video below – I happened to be filming her at the time (I try and take video footage when I remember as I know we will so love to look back on it). 

We then talked about what happens if you mix yellow and blue, and I think she really got it. 

Frida then wanted to use her squeezy paints (I have recommended these before and think they are brilliant for toddlers), and I was interested to see she chose yellow and blue with no prompting, and then mixed these together on the paper to make green. 

I am sharing this story with you, as I thought it was a nice example of natural, child-led learning. Instead of me sitting Frida down and saying “look, if I mix these two colours, it makes a different one” she was able to discover this herself through hands-on exploration. Surely this is a more powerful way of learning?

(And as an aside, maybe this is also an argument for why it’s ok to let children paint on the table / do things which we could sometimes disapprove of. Though our dining table is wipeable so maybe I’d feel differently if that wasn’t the case…)

The paint Frida was using here was just very diluted gouache – not ideal! – so I’ve finally bought a few proper watercolour paints (I decided to go for a starter set of Stockmar watercolours as I trust the brand’s quality), and I’m looking forward to exploring much more colour mixing with Frida from now on. 

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