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Introducing Secondary Colours To Kids

Have you taught your child about primary colours and thinking about what’s next? The answer is secondary colours. But learning about primary colours is important to understand secondary colours. So, do teach about the primary colours before jumping to secondary colours.


Your child might probably know the secondary colours and recognise them. But it is important for them to learn how these colours can be created by mixing two primary colours.


In this article, we have explained secondary colours of light and how secondary colours can be created using primary colours. We have also covered a few activities on teaching kids to create and learn about secondary colours.


Let’s read about this, starting with what secondary colours are!

What Are Secondary Colours?

Let’s take a look at the secondary colours definition for kids.


In simple words, when we mix two primary colours, we get a new colour, known as  a secondary colour. For example, if we mix red and yellow colours, we will get an orange colour. These colours are known as secondary colours as they are very closely related to primary colours and are derived directly and exclusively from them.

What Is The Difference Between Primary And Secondary Colours?

Let’s understand the difference between primary and secondary colours in art with the help of table given below.

Primary Colours Secondary Colours
It can’t be created by mixing two colours together. Created by mixing two primary colours together.
Red, blue and yellow are the primary colours. Orange, green and purple are secondary colours.

List Of Secondary Colours Names

In this section, we will take a look at some colours that are a part of the secondary colour scheme.

1. Orange

Orange is a secondary colour that is made by mixing two primary colours, red and yellow.


2. Purple

Purple is a secondary colour that is made by mixing two primary colours, red and blue.

3. Green

Green is a secondary colour that is made by mixing two primary colours, blue and yellow.


Secondary Colour Wheel With Examples

Let’s take a look at secondary colour examples for kids.

According to the colour theory, when we mix equal parts of two primary colours, we either get green, orange or purple. These colours that we get by mixing two primary colours are secondary colours.


Secondary Colour Wheel

In the above image, we can see the primary and secondary colour wheels that will be helpful when teaching kids about secondary colours. Let’s look at an example of a secondary colour wheel to understand the difference between primary and secondary colours.

To get any of the three secondary colours (green, orange, purple), you need to mix two of the primary colours that sit beside each other on the colour wheel. For example, to make the secondary colour green, you need to mix blue and yellow together. To make purple, you need to mix red and blue. Lastly, you need to mix the primary colours, red and yellow, together to make the colour orange.


How To Make The Secondary Colours?

Below we will have a look at how 3 secondary colours can be made using two primary colours.

1. Red + Yellow = Orange

Orange Colour

Things that are orange: Orange (fruit), carrot, pumpkin

2. Blue + Red = Purple

Purple Colour

Things that are purple: Eggplant, grapes, onion

3. Yellow + Blue = Green

Green Colour

Things that are green: Leaves, capsicum, kiwi

Benefits Of Understanding How To Create Secondary Colours

Having knowledge of creating secondary colours comes in useful in many situations that children will become exposed to. Some of these benefits include:

  • It gives your child a chance to better understand colours in general.
  • Your child knows what two primary colours will be required to make a particular secondary colour.
  • When you are able to mix your own secondary colours, you can save time. Otherwise, you have to run to the store to get one.
  • Knowing how to create secondary colours can help you save money, as you can create your own colour and don’t always have to purchase them from the store.
  • Understanding how to mix primary colours to make a secondary colour helps with advanced fine painting skills.
  • The more your child practices mixing colours, the more they will enjoy painting time, as they will learn how to control tints and tones while mixing colours.
  • Above all, mixing colours is a great art therapy.

Activities That Will Help Your Child To Learn Secondary Colour

Are you looking for ways to demonstrate to your child that secondary colours are made from primary colours? Take the help of the following activities that will help children to understand the science behind colours and colour mixing while learning how to create secondary colours.

1. Create The Colours

Material you needed

  • Red, yellow and blue paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Drawing sheet

What to do

  1. Take a drawing sheet and two colours at a time.
  2. Using a paintbrush, mix two colours together and see a new secondary colour appearing magically.

2. Paint In The Bag

Material you needed

  • Ziplock bag
  • Red, yellow and blue colour

What to do

  1. Take a zip lock bag and add any two colours to it and lock the bag.
  2. Ask your child to mix the two colours using their finger.
  3. Explain to them about the new colour that emerges after mixing the two primary colours.

3. Mix The Colours

Material you needed

  • Red, yellow and blue colour
  • Paintbrush
  • Drawing sheet

What to do

  1. Take a drawing sheet and fold it to get three creases.
  2. Place a dab of any one primary colour on the first crease of the sheet.
  3. Add another primary colour on the second crease and the last primary colour on the third crease.
  4. Ask your child to carefully fold the drawing sheet again at the crease created earlier.
  5. Press down so that the colours of paint on each crease will mix.
  6. Discuss what happens when the two primary colours are mixed with one another.

4. Guess The Colour

Material you needed

  • Sheets of red, yellow, blue, green, purple and orange colour.

What to do

  1. Keep the sheet of two primary colours in front of your child.
  2. Ask them to choose from the remaining colour sheets and tell which colour will the two primary colours make when mixed.

5. Teach With Flashcard

Material you needed

  • Cardstock
  • Colourful sketch pens

What to do

  • Take a cardstock and, using a red, yellow, and orange coloured sketch pen, make a flashcard similar to the image given below. Take your child’s help while colouring.

Teach With Falshcard

  • Similarly, make flashcards for red, blue, and purple and yellow, blue, and green colours.

Flashcard Learning

Learn With Flashcards

  • Teach your child about secondary colours with the help of these flashcards.
  • This will help your child to gain knowledge about secondary colours without mixing the primary colours to know what secondary colours are and how they can be created.

Important Painting Tips When Using Secondary Colours

Now that your little one knows how to create a secondary colour, it’s time to teach them some important painting tips when using these colours. Let’s read them below:

  1. It is not always necessary to buy a secondary colour. You can simply mix two primary colours to get the desired hue.
  2. While using a secondary colour, the primary colour is still the dominant colour, so mix the two primary colours in appropriate proportion to get the desired secondary colour.

While teaching your little one about colours, remember that kids have short attention spans. So, teach them in such a way that will keep them engaged while learning something important. The activities mentioned above in this article will allow the kids to have an amazing experience with colours that allow them to discover the concept of secondary colours on their own. But they will still need your support to learn the names of the secondary colours formed. If your child shows no interest in learning about secondary colours, do not force them. Wait for some time and look for another opportunity to teach them the same. Happy learning!

Also Read:

Colors For Kids With Activities
Names Of Things That Are Green in Colour
Things That Are Orange in Colour for Children



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