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There are several emergent interests that could lead to this learning experience. Children might want to play with spray bottles as in our play-based connection or might be engaged in an art project with mixing colours. Whatever the interest is, build on it by filling a clean spray bottle with water and a small amount of nontoxic colouring (e.g., tempera paint or food colouring). Encourage children to make splotches of different sizes and shapes by spritzing onto a piece of paper. Combine colours to see what happens. Find another object that could be used to spray or splatter coloured water (e.g., recycled ketchup bottle, toothbrush).

Optional: take the children outside and spray onto plexiglass, pavement, or snow.

Questions You May Ask 

⚙What [colour, shape, size] of splotches can you make?

What can you use to spray or splatter the coloured water?

How can you make a different [colour, shape, size]?                   


1.5 years and up

Time and Place

⚙ Any time of day

⚙ Any time of year

⚙ Indoors or outdoors


⚙Spray bottles

⚙Other containers (e.g., recycled ketchup bottle) or objects (e.g., toothbrush or paintbrush)

⚙A few drops of tempera paint or food colouring 




⚙Supervise children at all times 
⚙Use non-toxic paints only 


Play-based Context

An educator noticed how interested the children were in the disinfectant bottle to clean the table and how they imitated her cleaning the table in the playhouse area. The educator gave the children spray bottles and later added different colours to encourage the children to mix colours. 


Related Children's Books

Splatter by Diane Alber

Press Here by Hervé Tullet 

Mix It Up by Hervé Tullet

Splatter by Diane Alber.jpg
press here by herve Tullet.jfif
mix it up by herve tullet.jpg
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