Making Art with Mix it Up


I usually let the girl choose all the books we bring home from the library, but on a recent trip (in which we brought home 17!) I slipped in a couple I thought she would particularly enjoy.

One of these was Mix It Up! by HervĂ© Tullet. Like his previous book, Press Here, it’s an interactive book that gets kids thinking about what will happen when you do something specific to the book.

Mix it Up! is all about color mixing, so you start by forming the secondary colors with the primary colors, learn about adding white and black to colors and other fun stuff.

After reading the book a couple of times, I suggested to the girl that it might be fun to try the different experiments pictured in the book and see what happens.

A couple of days later, she told me she wanted to do it, so we did. mix it up color mixing activites

What You’ll Need

To do this yourself, you’ll need paint in the following colors:

  • red
  • blue
  • yellow
  • green
  • orange
  • purple
  • pink
  • black
  • white

You’ll also probably want a paintbrush or two (we started with fingers and ended up using a brush), a pallet or something else that will hold lots of colors of paint, and lots of paper.

color mixing paint
Mixing the primary colors.

What You’ll Do

painting blue red purple
Smearing blue and red. We may have added a little paint to the book.

We literally just worked through the book, talking about what should happen but didn’t always (the ones where you smash two colors together weren’t always successful in mixing the colors, but still looked pretty cool).

color mixing red yellow
Smashing red and yellow to make orange.

I loved that she strayed from the book a little bit, first adding white to the colors and then painting black over the top instead of starting with fresh colors. She saw that they all made gray, but they all looked different, which is a great lesson.

adding black painting
Adding black on top of tints.

Expanding the Knowledge

What was also really cool was that the next day when she was painting she decided she wanted to make pink out of red and white even though she has pink paint. So she clearly learned something and is applying that knowledge to her art, which is great.

mixing colors painting
Here you can see the pink she made and the regular pink paint.

Color mixing is a lot of fun, and if you want to expand playing with the book ever further, here are some more great activities to try:

If you check out this book I’d love to hear how you play with it!

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