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Mixing Orange


In this activity, you will explore painting with red and yellow and mix a new color—orange! In

Grade Level

Pre-K, Kindergarten



  • Video


  • Red and yellow tempera paints in cups
  • Water in a cup
  • Paintbrush
  • Sponge
  • Paper


Let’s look at what you have to paint with today:

  • A paintbrush. It has bristles on one side—these are the little hairs that carry the paint. The other side has a handle to hold the paintbrush.
  • Water to clean the brush
  • A sponge to dry the brush
  • Red and yellow paint. These are two of the primary colors.
  • Paper to paint on

Do you know why the primary colors are special? We can mix them together to make new colors.

Let’s try mixing two of the primary colors together!

Dip your brush into the yellow paint—not too much, just the tip. Paint some yellow on your paper.

Now, rinse your brush in the water. You can say: “1, 2, 3, stop” as you rinse. Then, dry your brush on the sponge.

Now that your brush is clean, you can add some red next to the yellow. What happens when they meet? It makes orange!

I wonder if you can make a different kind of orange. Rinse your brush, then see what happens if you add more yellow to the orange. It makes a lighter orange!

I wonder how you can make a darker orange. Maybe you can add more red.

You made all different kinds of orange. Orange is one of the secondary colors!


Point to one color on your painting.

How did you mix that color?


Mixing Orange
Written by Andrea Burgay, Associate Director

Lesson Development
Julie Applebaum, Senior Director
Sassy Kohlmeyer, Director of Early Childhood Programs

Studio in a School NYC
Hasna Muhammad, Ed.D., Chair, Board of Directors, Studio in a School Association
Alison Scott-Williams, President, Studio in a School NYC

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