Art Lesson- St. Patrick's Day Color Theory

When I taught art to Middle School children, I spent a lot of time on the elements of art- one of which is color. I would have them chose a simple design (whether it be a heart, peace sign, or skateboard) create a simple stencil from that design and trace it multiple times. I would then have them complete a color wheel by mixing the three primary colors. After, I would have them chose one color and repeat the following steps with their basic design. This time, however, they would add tints (by adding white) and shades (by adding black) to alter their selected color.
My 2 year old's painting!

Why can't preschoolers learn some basic science behind color?

Classified: Easy and appropriate for ages 3 and up (depending on how involved you want to get). We used a clover for the St. Patrick's Holiday.

What you need:
  • Blue, yellow and white paint.
  • Tag board to make a clover stencil
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Palette
  • Large sheet of white paper
  • Glue stick
  • Marker
  • Smocks, paper towels and such

What to do:
1. Make a large clover tracer out of tag board and either you or your child trace the clover 4 times.
2. Ask "What 2 colors make green?" Give them a moment or two to answer. Praise them for their efforts!
Mixing blue + Yellow to make green.
3. Have them mix the yellow and blue paints together to make green.
4. Paint one clover that color.
5. Ask "What do you think happens if I add some white to the green?" 6. Add some white paint to make it a tint lighter. My kids got really excited at what they saw.
7. Paint another clover with the tinted green.
Our drying paintings.
8. Repeat until all clovers are painted.
9. Allow to dry.
10. Cut out and glue onto a piece of white paper (or poster board) to show how adding white makes the color get lighter and lighter.
11. We wrote "Happy Saint Patrick's Day" on ours!
4 Year Old St. Patrick's Day Color Theory


  1. This is adorable -- as is your blog! Found you on the McHoppin' Monday and am your newest follower!

    Would love if you followed back!


  2. thanks for stopping by. Now following you.

  3. What a fun blog! Following back!

  4. Great job Aimee! I drew out some clovers and I think I'll make some more today but I will need paint =P

    Have a good day!

  5. From the "Where Are You Wednesday Blog Hop" Hello from Northeast Texas, USA. Just became a new follower on GFC.
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  6. New follower from Monday Mom Blog Hop
    Feel free to check out my blog and follow back


  7. I can't wait to try this with my 3 year old. I'm following back from Welcome Wednesday...thanks for stopping by. I also used to teach middle school!


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Aimee ~Classified: Mom

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