how to teach kids to use color in art making: Art Curriculum Techniques by Deep Space Sparkle

How to Teach COLOR

The third tutorial in our Series CONNECTING WITH THE ELEMENTS- How to teach the Elements & Principles of Art, is COLOR.

How exactly do you describe COLOR and why is it important?

After teaching children about Line & Pattern and Shape, there are many different paths you can follow when using the elements of art and principles of design as your curriculum guide.

For our own EPIC curriculum (a done-for-you curriculum available only through The Sparklers Club), we recommend students learn about the element COLOR after line, pattern and shape. This shows children how line and shape are used in art-making and then how colors can be used to create a beautiful, colorful work of art.

Teaching children about color theory, even the most basic concepts, sets students up with color mixing techniques to be reinforced with later lessons throughout the year. 

Color Through the Grades

Kindergarten and first graders explores color by identifying the primary colors (red, blue and yellow) and begin basic mixing techniques to create secondary colors (orange, green, purple).

Second graders can focus on more specific goals of creating a work or art using only primary colors to create a 6 color palette.

Third and fourth grade students can learn about warm and cool colors plus why warm/cool colors or analogous colors work so well together.

By fifth and sixth grade, students have experience with color theory basics. Now children can use their knowledge to make choices in their art to help make for more successful compositions. 


Watch the VIDEO Art Tutorial

Want to watch the Art Tutorial Video? Click HERE to view video on our Deep Space Sparkle Facebook Page

* This video is also available to you if you’re a Sparkler in the Sparkler’s Club. Click HERE for the link to the EPIC Curriculum Bundle.



Kinder- Third

How to teach COLOR to kids: Play Doh Colorwheel Art Project

Play Doh Colorwheel – manipulate colors by blending, kneading and rolling with basic play-doh. Template included.

How to teach COLOR to kids: Colorwheel Clown Art Project

Colorwheel Clowns – Follow steps to draw a fun clown then use primary colored paint to create secondary colors

Easy art projects that teaches kids how to make secondary colors from primary colors: Colorwheel scarecrow art project


Colorwheel Scarecrows – Follow a simple scarecrow line drawing then use primary paint colors to create secondary colors.

Teach children how to make secondary colors with primary colors: Colorwheel Fish Art Project

Fish Painting using warm and cool colors plus tints

Free Contour Cat Art Project

Contour Cat – explore warm and cool colors with this easy watercolor and pattern project


How to teach kids to create tints and shades" A color mixing art project for kids

Learn to Create Tints & Shades A simple art activity that teaches children how to create tints and shades.

How to teach color theory to kids

A fun art activity that encourages children to consider a “recipe” for creating their own colors, Teaching Color Theory click HERE

What do you think?

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  • Jill Sharwood

    Excellent. Thank you. I am a retired (upper) primary school teacher who was always deeply involved in classroom art. Now it is the grandchildren I practise my passion on. These Gas are not in upper years of school so I am really interested in your approach to the little guys.

  • becky

    Love this, thanks for making it available. I noticed that almost everything is backward, most obvious is anything in writing.

  • Denise

    I was watching the video and everything is backwards. Why is that? Love the video and the hand outs. I am a sparkler anyway.

    • Patty

      I’m using an iPad to record the video live. You can stream via Facebook with a camera so this is just what happens. I try to reverse print my handouts (when I remember) so that you can at least see the handout clearly 🙂

  • Rena Taylor

    I cannot open any of the video tutorials so far (Line, Shape, Color). I can’t access Facebook at school . I am also a Sparkler , but can’t find any of the videos in the membership files.
    How can I access the videos outside of Facebook ?

    • Patty

      Hi Rena….You should be able to view this video right in the website browser. I don’t believe you need to have a facebook account to view them.
      As a little backstory, I do free art tutorials most Thursdays and they aren’t meant solely for our members, so that’s why they are not located in the membership. However, I think it would make sense to also add them to the bundles. I’ll check with Neil regarding Facebook access…we might be able to download them and reload them for our Sparklers. I appreciate your input. Thanks Rena!

  • Lisa Hynek

    Unfortunately I cannot access the video. I was able to watch Lines and Patterns but this video seems to only be available on Facebook which our school has blocked. Is it available elsewhere?

    • Patty

      If you are a member of our Sparklers Club, we’ll have a MP4 version in our membership soon. 🙂

  • Julie Rempel

    I was looking for a free Teaching Water Colour PDF and I don’t see it…. : (

  • Linh

    Wonderful color study.

  • Karen Edden

    Fantastic!! Teaching my grandkids on line so this will be so helpful for me. Thank you so much.

  • Charlene Rushmere

    Your packages are amazing.

  • Karla Myers

    Helpful – thanks!

  • Sophia

    Amazing techniques

  • jlucz

    With so many of your other lessons, you have Objectives, Materials list and Standards listed. Why not for this one?

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