Art Experience

Painting With the Colors You Found Outside

This month’s art experience is an extension of this month’s sensory experience. For a more profound experience, please go through the “outdoor color scavenger hunt” experience found on the sensory experience section of our site. The colors you find will be your pallet for the following painting activity.


  • Tempera Paint (Red, Yellow, Blue, White, and Black)
  • Thick White Paper or Canvas of any size you prefer
  • Paintbrush
  • Artist pallet, tray, jars, or something you can use to mix colors and hold paint.
  • A jar or cup of water and towel (or paper towel) to clean the brush after each color is used.

The Experience: Gather all the materials. Have the space prepared with a towel, a cup of water, paint, brushes, and a tray before the child begins.


Look at the checklist and photos, from the color scavenger hunt, with the child to help them prepare their pallet.

Have the child mix the colors in a jar or on the artist pallet to match the colors you found with the child. Use the images of the object to help match the color as close as possible.

Interaction Model:

Meeting the child at the prepared space, discuss with the child what is the plan. 

Adult: Earlier, we went outside and found many objects that were the same colors you were looking for. What do you remember seeing? 

Child: I saw purple and pink flowers: a purple jeep and green bushes.

Looking at the checklist and images from the scavenger hunt with the child. 

Adult:  After our walk, I wondered how all or some of these colors would look like together in a painting. I know you like painting, so I set up this space. You can use this artist pallet to hold the colors you are going to use for your painting.

Child: But there is no purple and pink

Adult: (Pointing to a spot on the artist pallet) I wonder what would happen if you mix a little red and little bit of blue right here.

The child starts to mix red and blue, where the adult was pointing.

Child: It’s Purple! But there is still no pink.

Adult: (Pointing to a spot on the artist pallet) I wonder what would happen if you mix a little bit of red and white.

The child starts to mix white and red, where the adult was pointing.

Child: It’s Pink!

Adult: How can we use these colors together on the paper? After you paint with one color, you can use this cup of water and towel to clean your brush and dry it before you use another color. Swishing and wiping the brush will help you keep all the colors “true” on your pallet.

Now let the child paint:

Learning Outcome:

  • Cognitive Development- The child tries out different behavior to cause effects. (mixing red and blue to get purple)
  • The child develops close relationships with familiar adults and interacts in an increasingly competent and cooperative manner with familiar adults.
    • Also, with peers, if the experience is shared with other children.
  • Physical development- Fine motor manipulative skills