“It’s so exhausting to name colors… I need a snack, now!”

Last week, we began art groups by reading Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and talking about how there can be many different shades of a color.  In the book, we discovered that there can be glow green, pea green, forrest green and fern green.  Even though they were all technically green, they all appeared very different and reminded us of different things!



Next, we played a game in which we picked colored cards and tried to name as many objects that reminded us of the selected color.  We made a long list that will be helpful for children to refer to when naming the colors for their final product.

Red: Stop sign red, barn red, tomato red, ketchup red, strawberry red.

Orange: Pumpkin orange, bright orange, Nemo orange, peach orange.

Yellow: Fall leaf yellow, sunny yellow, sunflower yellow, omelette yellow.

Pink: Berry pink, cotton candy pink, bubblegum pink, hair bow pink.

Green: Avocado green, alien green, caterpillar green, grass green.

Blue: Sky blue, smock blue, blue jay blue, Superman blue, blueberry blue.

Purple: Plum purple, eggplant purple, pepper purple, yogurt purple.

After our heads were swimming with images of rich and vibrant colors, friends began mixing colors on their palette with squirt bottles! As children were working, I walked around and helped friends name the colors that they created.  Friends found the squirt bottles hilarious because “they were like ketchup bottles and sometimes made funny noises.”




Naomi: I’ll call this one chocolate.  And this one is slippery green.

Greyson: This is snail green.

Kai: Let’s mix it and see what happens!




Claire: This color is like hot pepper red.

Luke: It’s so hard to mix my favorite color but it’s still fun.  It’s just a lot of work.

Jax: Dark like night time.  Whoa… dark like Batman.  Nice!




William: It’s so exhausting to name colors… I need a snack, now!

Mae: This color is called banana, this color is banana peel and this color is dried banana.

Miguel: You know when you get yogurt from Trader Joe’s and you pour the blueberries into the vanilla yogurt and you swirl it around?  Yeah… this color looks just like that!


“I’m going to make the perfect color ever!”

As friends are continuing to broaden their knowledge and understanding of color mixing, many have been experimenting with how to mix “perfect, special colors!”  In this video, Florentina tries many different times to mix a color that is “perfect” and still is working on getting her colors mixed just how she would like them.  Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera died before the end, but she was in fact able to mix a “rainbow” color that she was thrilled with!

“We’re so good at mixing paint, we should be on a commercial!”

Over the past three weeks, all children in Pre-K have been busy in the Studio working on mixing their own, unique colors with paint!  Friends are discovering that when you mix paint, it creates a new color that’s one of a kind and special.  We have been building rich, descriptive vocabulary as we broaden our knowledge and understanding of color.

The first week was all about painting with primary colors, which are red, yellow and blue. Friends were introduced to a palette, which is a tool that artists use when mixing colors because it has many segments that keep colors separated.  Next, we read the book Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin and worked on mixing colors that the monsters in the book would love!


Autumn: Where are the monsters?  I want to show them my painting!  They will like it.

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Jariel: I made another brown that looks like dirty mud.

Siah: I made green again, but now it’s dark green because I put more blue.

Cory: I used a lot of colors.  I love them all.  The yellow looks like honey mustard, red looks like sour soda and blue looks like water.

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Zavier: Red is the color of lava.  Green is the color of a leaf.  We’re so good at mixing paint, we should be on a commercial!

Maia: These colors are so cool because I made them myself.  I’m such an artist because I hold my palette.

Siena: I made three turquoises but they are all different.  Will the monsters like them?

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Sophie: Three greens that kind of look the same, but mostly different.  You have to look very closely.

Iris: I’m still working on making purple so it’s my favorite kind of purple and not just regular purple.

Andres: I have an idea, if you want green, just mix it yourself!


The following week, children were excited to see that white and black paint were added to their palettes and were eager to begin mixing!  We read the book Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and enjoyed singing Pete’s song about the different colors he stepped in.  After the story, friends continued to mix colors and created tints and shades with the black and white paint.


Carlos: I’m going to make a pile of blueberries like what Pete stepped in in the book!

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Adrian: I didn’t know I could make so many different purples.  The white changed the purple to light purple and the black changed the purple to dark purple.  And when I put more red, it made red purple.  And when I put more blue, it made blue purple.

Nneka: Every color you make is different than someone else’s!

Claire: Christian, well done, the first color you mixed was turquoise!

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Florentina: Holding the palette is very hard.  Just like being an artist, you have to practice and you’ll get better.

Elijah: The white paint teleported into the black paint to make grey paint.

Marquis: All the colors together make mud puddle brown.

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Zavier: I’m making a magic trick with paint.  I’m changing pink to purple.

Claire: The color I mixed is stunning.  That means really, really pretty.

Zoe: I  made indigo and violet.  Violet is a beautiful type of purple.


On to week three!  We began by reading My Many Colored Days by Dr.Seuss and learned that different colors can make us feel different ways, as well as evoke emotions and feelings.  In each circle on their paper, there was a different expression drawn in to support friends in thinking about how color is connected to the way we feel.  Children had so much fun acting out different expressions and mixing unique colors, as I added orange, green and purple to their palettes.






Friends enjoyed making angry, surprised, happy and silly faces with their friends.  Also, Ra’Maya noticed that the faces on her shirt were similar to the faces on her paper!

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Adrian: Remember the Sophie book?  Her face turned red when she was mad so I’ll use red and orange for the mad face.

Miguel: That face looks sleepy, but like they’re having a good dream.  I’ll make it peaceful purple.  When I think of nervous, I can use all the colors and paint it kind of gently so it’s like a rainbow.

William: My mad face looks like it has fire on it.

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Mae: Did you have a feeling that we would like the feeling papers?  I don’t like the faces the most, I like the circles because they are my favorite shape!

Jariel: Dark yellow makes me feel angry!

Greyson: How does that face feel? It looks like he has a snake for the mouth.


Friends will be continuing this Color Study project all the way up until our December 15th Showcase.  We will have lots of work to share with families and friends at the event!

Color Study Week 3: Feelings

Leading up to our December Showcase, Pre-K friends will be working on a long term color study project where they are learning about how to mix different shades of colors, as well as how to describe colors and how they make us feel.  I will post more about this very soon, but in the mean time, here’s a clip from one of todays art groups!

“Yeah, we can make his favorite food. He loves crickets!”

On Wednesday’s at CCPCS, children participate in Service, which can range from cleaning their classroom to working on service projects throughout the school.  Every week, I pick up one “Glitter Grabber” from each Pre-K classroom and we work on cleaning smocks, palettes, tables, chairs, etc.  in the Studio.

Today, once the Studio was sparkling again, Maia asked if she could continue drawing on a pumpkin that she wanted to give to Mister Skinny Legs.  She started this project the other day and was overjoyed that the rest of the Glitter Grabbers wanted to help out as well!




Maia: Can we decorate the pumpkin for Mister Skinny Legs?  We could draw things that he would like.

Elijah: Let’s draw bugs for him.

Nneka: And crickets!

Maia: Yeah, we can make his favorite food.  He loves crickets!

William: How do we know how to draw a cricket?  Can we look at the crickets?

Maia: Yeah, then we know how they look.  Don’t forget to draw the food.  The food looks like circles and lines.


Elijah: I like crickets.  I want to see them hop.  I’ve seen them do it at recess.

William: What do they eat anyways?  It looks like watermelon.



Elijah: It smells like oranges.

Maia: Yeah, stinky orange.  Hey guys, are you going to help me with this pumpkin or not?  We have to color the whole thing.

Nneka: I’ll make a fly.

Elijah: I’ll make the zombie crickets.

William: Yeah, let’s make zombie crickets because some of the crickets are dead.



“Instead of going to a pumpkin patch, our school became a pumpkin patch!”

Last week, we kicked off our Pre-K expedition with a pumpkin explosion on the playground!  Children arrived at school and were surprised to see that there were pumpkins of all shapes and sizes everywhere!




Briana: I found a pumpkin on a bicycle!

Andres: There’s pumpkins everywhere!

Amen: I found something!  A pumpkin!  I need to find more.

Mae: Instead of going to a pumpkin patch, our school became a pumpkin patch!



Friends noticed and wondered all sorts of things about the pumpkin on the playground.  As children found them, they were asked to bring them to the picnic table so that we could explore them further.



Waju: I have never seen a white pumpkin!

Sarah: Is it an orange?

Trebor: I want to smell them.  I don’t know how they will smell like.

Ayub: Is this the pumpkins home?




Siah: Wow… heavy!

Ayub: The baby pumpkins on the branch look like marshmallows.

Zeina:  Yeah, it looks like roasting marshmallows on a stick!

Elliott: I can make a snowman.




Next, all four Pre-K classes piled onto buses and we hit the road for Butlers Orchard to learn more about where pumpkins come from and what it means to harvest.



Bennett: Thanks bus driver for taking us to the pumpkin patch!

Cory: This is a bumpy ride.




Esther: It looks like a pumpkin party here!

William: It’s really tough to walk through the vines at the mumpkin pumpkin patch.

Waju: I think a porcupine ate that pumpkin!


William: Lots of spiders on the pumpkins… ah!


After the long weekend, friends returned to school and continued to notice, wonder and ask questions about the pumpkins.  Children were ecstatic to see that pumpkins were still on the playground, in their classrooms and even in the Studio!

Kavalli: Pumpkins in the Studio! That’s crazy! There’s more pumpkins! Pumpkins are everywhere!


Friends used twist crayons to do an observational drawing of the pumpkins.  Children examined the color, size and texture of the pumpkins and gourds very carefully.


Carlos: I’m counting the pumpkins so I know how many to draw.

Siena: The red pumpkin on top looks like a hat.

Miguel: I like these pumpkins.  They are all different sizes but I like the little one the best because it’s like a baby.


Next, children used liquid watercolors to paint over their pumpkins.  Friends were excited to see that they could still see their crayon drawings and enjoyed watching them emerge through the paint.




Ra’Maya: I can still see the dots on my pumpkin!  It’s like the paint disappeared in the paper.  I think it went to church.

Waju: Hey, I remember these!  They are water paints!

Dai’Jah: I can still see all the lines on my pumpkin.  And they were skinny.


“It’s amazing to use all the colors you want to make the color you want to make the most!”

Art groups are in full swing in the PK Studio, and we’re continuing to work with and learn about new materials every week.  This past week, friends used liquid watercolors to make paintings.  It was exciting to paint with watercolors after learning about tempera paint, because it allowed them to explore their similarities and differences. Friends enjoyed watching the paint settle into the paper, as well as laying colors to create one of a kind paintings!

Before we could begin painting, friends practiced putting on smocks.

Siah: Good smocks!

William: Darby, let me help you with your smock.  It goes like this… long part in the front, short part in the back.

Reese: We wear smocks so we don’t get our clothes messy.

In the PK Studio, we keep liquid watercolors in glass jars.  Before we began painting, friends shared what they already knew about glass, and how to handle working with the fragile material.  As you can see, children really covered all of the bases in regards to using glass jars in the Studio.


Adrian: Don’t be rough with the jars or they will break.  Jars are like a small bottle.

Mae: If you drop the glass it’ll break all over the floor and it could hit your foot and your foot could get bloody and you will cry and the paint will be gone.

Ra’Maya: Glasses have glass in them, too!

Sophie: If you put the jar hard on the table, it could scare friends and also break.

Selwyn: If we pick the jar up and throw it in the air, it would make a mess and it would break.

Zoe: If you drop the glass it could break and you could step on it and your foot would bleed and you might not walk and your foot could fall off, so that’s why you have to be careful with glass.

Friends also learned that if we want to mix colors, we mix colors on our paper and not in the jars.

Sarah: Don’t put the pink brush in the blue jar because it’ll mix it all and no one can use the blue anymore because it’ll change to purple.

Luke: You can’t trick us… we know the green brush goes in the green jar!

Nayeli: I always don’t put the pink brush in the blue.

Jax: Do I put the orange in the yellow?  Nooooo!  Do I put the orange in the blue? Nooooo!  Do I put the orange in the orange? Yes!

Finally… friends could get to work on their masterpieces!



Naomi: If someone comes in, we could tell them they can come paint with us!

Marquis: The pink paint disappears when I put it on the green.

Zavier: This yellow paint is sparkly and golden.

Christian: Mister Skinny Legs, look, I’m painting Mikey Angelo.  And Mister Skinny Legs is like “OMG, I didn’t know Christian could paint the Ninja Turtles!”



Carlos: It’s amazing to use all the colors you want to make the color you want to make the most!

Iris: How do watercolors dry so quickly?  Maybe if you blow on the painting, it’ll dry up.

Miguel: This yellow looks sparkly like pirates gold.



Nneka: That color looks like emerald.

Madison: Mine is beautiful because I know how to paint really well like an artist.

Elijah: This looks like fern green, which is like our art group!  It’s a light green, it’s fern green.  Can I call you Ms.Fern?



Florentina: Watercolors get sucked up into the paper faster than other paints.  Look at the back of my paper… the paint sucked all the way through to the back!

Isabella: Paintbrushes love the watercolors.  They look like they are swimming in an ocean of pink paint!


“Is that an octopus in the cage? He a spider? He gonna eat us!”

It was a very busy week and a half, as friends have started coming to the Pre-K Art Studio for art groups!  For children that were Pre-K 3’s last year, they acted as real leaders in showing new children around the Studio.  We spent some time noticing, wondering and asking questions about different spaces and materials that children observed in the new space.  Children that are new to CCPCS this year were very curious about the tarantula, Mister Skinny Legs, that lives in the Studio.  Friends that learned about spiders last year, and were a part of the naming process, helped introduce him (from the safety and comfort of his tank) to other children, and let them know that there wasn’t anything to be scared of!


Greyson: There’s a spider that has hair on him. He’s brown and orange.

Dafnee: I love your board and your lamp!

Claire: Why is there a classroom right next to yours?

Christian: I hear kids next door saying, “I have a block.”  I bet they are building.


Siah: The spider is moving. I think he likes your story!

Siena: It’s a little room… that’s so funny!

Nneka: Wow! Look at this place… it’s so cool!

Amen: The sink makes a noise.  A really loud noise.


Luke: This is the most awesomest room ever!

Esther: I’m scared the spider will get out of the cage and come to us.

Amen: Is that an octopus in the cage? He a spider? He gonna eat us!

Florentina: We get to go back to the back table when were done and the back table is always so fun!


“I look like a flying potato!”

It’s one of my favorite times of year in the Pre-K Studio… self portrait week!  Friends in Pre-K work on a self portrait for their portfolio at the beginning and the end of each school year.  It’s great to see how much their observations and skills change over the course of the year, and for children that are in Pre-K for two years, over the span of those years.  We began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and talked a little about different shades of skin, eyes, hair, etc.


Ra’Maya: I’m cocoa brown!  Yummy!

Rayyan: I look so nice like yummy chocolate brown.


Next, I showed some different techniques for selecting colors that most closely matched the colors that were unique to each of them.  Children selected colors that they thought would work, and held them up next to their hands, hair, etc. to see which color would be the best.



Mae: Eyebrows are skittery skattery across your face.

Amal: I make Amal!

Zavier: You don’t have to draw your legs because you don’t see them in the mirror.  I can only see my shirt, not my pants.



Dai’Jah: I have to try to draw my bows!

Andres: Camels have eyelashes, too.

William: Eyebrows keep the sweat from getting in your eyes and the hair in your nose keeps sand from getting up there.  It also stops wood chips from getting up there.  It tangles it up and gets it out!



Adrian: You forgot to draw earwax in your ear!

William: I look like a flying potato!

Carlos: Giraffes have eyelashes to keep mosquitos out of their eyes.  They have ears like half circles, too!



Here are some of the finished self portraits from our week!






“Do you buy smocks at the smock shop?”

During the first six weeks of a new school year, children explore new materials in different areas of their classroom. Learning about new materials is a great way to build relationships with both classmates and new teachers!


During the second week of school, Pre-K friends began working with oil pastels in the art area. It was exciting to compare and contrast crayons, which children have been working with since the beginning of the year, with oil pastels. Children were able to draw freely as they acquainted themselves with the new material. Once friends were finished with their masterpieces, they learned how to clean up oil pastels and where they could find them the next time they wanted to draw with them!


“It feels soft on my hands.” -Ra’Maya

“When I roll the pastel, it makes a funny noise.” -Zeina


“It’s on my fingers! What! How?”Jax

“When I mix them with my fingers it makes new colors. I’m an artist because I always draw nice things.” -Siena


“I’m going to mix these two colors together and I don’t know what it’ll make. It’s making purple! You need to use red and blue if you want to make purple!” -Elliott

“Does the oil in them make it so they mix? And smudge?”Mae


 “I mixed blue and yellow pastels to make green. Someone took the paper off but now I can draw with the pastel sideways!” -Miguel

“They look like crayons, but they don’t really draw like crayons.”-Isabella



The third week of school was very exciting as we began learning about different types of paint! Friends learned about primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and how to mix them to create secondary colors (orange, green, purple). We practiced putting on smocks to protect our clothing, and learned how to carefully carry wet paintings to the drying rack.


“The drying rack is like an oven.” -Ayub

“To make green darker, I can add blue. To make it lighter, I can add more yellow.” -Miguel


 “I like painting the most because I love, love, love it so much because it always looks so good.” -Siah

 “Do you buy smocks at the smock shop?” -Elijah


 “I’m dipping the brush carefully so I don’t get paint everywhere.” -Waju

 “I mixed all the colors and it made it look black. The paint is really strong. Oh yeah, my painting looks good and really awesome, doesn’t it?”-Marquis


“You can paint whatever you want. I’m painting a tunnel for spiders, ants and walruses.”    Jariel

 “I know that blue and yellow makes green so you can do that if you want to make green. I like mixing red and yellow… it makes a golden color.” -Zeina