This lesson is designed to teach young children (K-1st) what the primary colors are (red, blue, yellow) and the results of mixing 2 of three of them in various combinations. The combinations are red and yellow, red and blue, and blue and yellow. The combinations are red and yellow, red and blue, and blue and yellow. This activity is called rainbow stew. Put three cups of cold water in a bowl. Sprinkle six envelopes of unflavored gelatin over the water and let it stand for one minute. Then add three cups of boiling water. Mix well with a spoon and divide mixture evenly in three small cake pans. Add several drops of red food coloring to one pan, yellow food coloring to another pan and blue to the third pan. Refrigerate pans overnight. Remove to room temperature about an hour before using. Slice each pan of colored gelatin into 16-20 uniform blocks. This makes about 24 bags of rainbow stew. Give each child a zip lock baggie and an index card that has one of the three color combinations written and color coded on it. Have the children put the two colors of gelatin blocks into their bags, using the combination that is on their index card. Have the children put the two colors of gelatin blocks on a flat surface and use the side of the hand to push air out of the baggie and then seal it. The children will then squeeze their baggies to mix the colors and make their rainbow stew. Observe and discuss results. Elicit that blue and yellow makes green, red and yellow makes orange, and red and blue makes purple. Have the children record their observations on paper using crayons.
If you are interested in other approaches in teaching mixing colors to young children, please refer to the following links:
Teachers Net Lesson Exchange: Mixing Colors (Pre-School, Literature)
Kinderart-Mixing Colors (A Kinderart Cool Kid-Submitted Lesson) - Painting
Color Mixing-Enchanted Learning Software
Mixing Colors with Light Beam