Mixing Primary Colors


Colors surround our everyday lives and this ice and water activity makes for a wonderful experience for children to see how colors mix and create other colors. Mixing the three primary colors, (red,blue,yellow) with colored ice is an opportunity for exploring color mixing and watching how different colors blend to form secondary colors..


  • ice cube trays
  • food color
  • 6 clear glasses or containers
  • water


  • Using the food coloring and water, in the ice trays make 5 ice cubes of each primary color (red, blue, yellow)
  • Fill the six glasses with warm water (helps the ice to melt)
  • Once the colored ice has frozen, take them out and place one blue ice cube in jars 1 and 2.
  • Place one red ice cube in jars 3 and 4.
  • Place one yellow ice cube in jars 5 and 6.
  • Add one red ice cube to jar 2.
  • Add one yellow ice cube to jar 4.
  • Add one blue ice cube to jar 6.


As the ice is melting, talk about the colors you see and the new ones that are being created when you mix two of the primary colors.

Add challenges: 

What two colors made your favorite color? What happens if you mix more than two colors?