Most of us take the beauty of colour and light for granted. We see it all around us each day. But children all love to experience it for themselves and it’s fun to watch them learning with enthusiasm and wonder.
This fun activity was created by the children themselves. My parents had sent them penguin-shaped hand-charging flashlights about the same time that I had purchased some transparent counting chips (also known as old-fashioned bingo chips).
Tristan was using the counting chips while doing some math one dark winter morning at the kitchen table and became a bit distracted with his new flashlight. He began stacking the chips up on the flat-topped lens and was enthralled with the coloured lights reflecting off of the ceiling.
Instead of becoming annoyed with Tristan for his distraction, I decided to let him have some fun learning about colour-mixing while he was interested and excited about it.
Tristan and Kallista brought out their new “game” each morning for days and learned their three primary colours: red, yellow, and blue. Then they discovered how mixing these three colours together would create new colours on the ceiling. Once they knew what these colour combinations would create they then had a ball piling up even MORE chips on the light and seeing how many new combinations they could come up with before the pile of chips became unstable and came toppling down to the table.
It’s amazing the fun learning games children can come up with on their own just using the everyday items they have around them. Over a year after they first happened upon this game, they still talk about it and bring the flashlight and chips to the table on occasion. They’re disappointed at the moment because the summer days mean they wake up and go to bed with daylight so the flashlight doesn’t do its job very well. On the other hand, the dark winter mornings are assured of being colourful ones this year!
The children also learned about items that are transparent, translucent, and opaque.
If you’d like to see more pre-school science activities, click over to our Sink or Float with Lemons and Limes, and our solar oven. Explore our science and summer fun pages as well for more great ideas!