First, a sincere apology. I have been completely MIA for a while. Life suddenly got busy and something had to give. For better or for worse, this was it. Between kid stuff, work-at-home stuff, and life stuff, I just didn't make time to write. But the good news is, I'm back! And I'm working on a new blog project!! Details to come soon.
I love a good, fun, family project that lends itself to on-the-spot teachable moments. Once a teacher, always a teacher I guess! Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that everything we do always leads itself to teachable inspiration. More often than not, it doesn't. Sometimes I don't want to deal with the clean up, and sometimes I'm just not inspired. But this day, I was, so as we were dyeing eggs we also got out our new Montessori-esque tools out and got to creating and mixing.
Have you ever dyed brown eggs?
Prior to this year I hadn't. We always had white eggs. I am now a convert. Brown eggs give you such an earthier color! They turned out so pretty we went through all our boiled eggs and had to break out the fresh eggs just to keep going. Good thing none of those actually broke. Aren't they gorgeous?
Since we went through all the eggs, and of course still had dye left over, I grabbed our droppers. If you are familiar with Montessori, you might have heard of practical life activities. They are just that: exercises geared toward learning how to do daily living activities in a purposeful way. They help children gain control of their coordination, gain independence, develop their intellect, increase their concentration, and develop an orderly way of thinking. I got the droppers to help the girls with their coordination, specifically to help with pincer grip. They focus on the fingers used for writing, building muscle strength, and give lots of practice for hand-eye coordination. (source) As a bonus, they are super versatile and fun for the girls to use! This set below is great to get a variety of kid-friendly tools at a good price.
So, how did we use our droppers?
For painting of course! We had a full rainbow of colors, loads of paper towel, and trays to keep the mess contained. The girls (and my husband) spent a long time exploring patterns and colors, watching the drops "drop", watching the drop expand on the paper towel, and playing around with how to make the color more or less intense. They got into blending colors and determining what happened to the size of the colorful drop if you squeezed out more dye from the dropper versus less.
Those explorations led to conversation about symmetry simply by opening up the paper towel!
Once they realized they could do more than just make colored circles, we got into a whole new level of eye-dropper painting. They, including my hubby, starting experimenting with making shapes, being more purposeful in their decisions about where to place the drops, and which colors to use to create something more meaningful. My husband was pretty proud of his Mexico painting. What do you think? Palm trees or carrots?
We stuck with the droppers art until the novelty wore off and the girls were ready for something new. That's how I roll with them, and with teachable moments. If it's fun, we're totally engaged and going for it. When it's done, we're moving on. That doesn't mean we won't come back around to it, but for the moment, they soaked up all they can. Next!
How colors "work"
Now, even after years of teaching, it still amazes me how many times a child may need to experience, explore, or discover something for it to really stick, for it to be honestly learned, not just memorized. For my girls, this is the case with how colors work, meaning what happens when you mix them, and which colors can create new colors.
Over the years we've mixed paint, food coloring, you name it, talking about how red + blue = purple, and so on. Yet they still don't really know it. That was made obvious by the conversation we had when mixing the egg dye to make new colors, then trying to create a progression of color with the cups. We had to redo this one lots of times! But, that's how learning works, right? You get introduced to an idea or have a question, then try to figure it out or practice it lots of times before you truly get it, and then don't have to think about it every time.
Once we used our primary colors to make the secondary colors a few times, I tried to have the girls organize the cups. This meant lots of prompting like, "when we mixed red and yellow, we made...?" But seriously, it took a lots of practice, and more mixing to prove it, before we could get the order right.
My girls still haven't really learned how colors work, and that's totally fine! The beauty of a morning like this is that it's so fun, repeatable, yet will bring absolutely new art and discoveries, and will most likely come up again. Perhaps it won't be when we're dyeing eggs, but painting, or making play-dough, or mixing up who-knows-what in the kitchen just for kicks. It's an easy teachable moment that comes up again and again. And, as they come to internalize more, then we can move on to things like primary-secondary colors, warm or cool colors, and keep the learning happening in a super fun way.
What's your favorite color mixing fun? Share a story or a link!
I'm Tonia, a Midwesterner transplanted to Colorado. I'm a mom of two lovely littles, a yoga instructor, DIY-er, teacher, stay at home mom, and a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. I blog about a little bit of all of these and everything in between!
Are you looking for natural health options, but don't know where to start? Book a 1-on-1 appointment with me! We'll spend about 30 minutes getting to know your health goals and concerns, learn a bit about doTERRA, and go over the most commonly used oils that meet your needs. You don't have to buy anything, but if you see something you like, of course I can help you!